Serie A giants AS Roma and Napoli have reportedly joined Barcelona in the race to sign 24-year-old Ajax defender Noussair Mazraoui next summer.
According to a report by Spanish publication Mundo Deportivo, Barcelona will need to fend off competition from two Serie A giants in the race to sign Noussair Mazraoui. Napoli and AS Roma are also interested in securing the services of the 24-year-old Ajax defender on a free transfer in next summer’s transfer window.
Noussair Mazraoui joined the fabled Ajax academy as a nine-year-old in July 2006 and has since come leaps and bounds. Now widely regarded as one of the most enterprising full-backs in the Eredivisie, the Moroccan international is a mainstay in the Dutch giants’ defensive unit.
The 24-year-old is enjoying a memorable 2021/22 season, chipping in with four goals and three assists in 21 outings across all competitions. However, the ongoing campaign could be Mazraoui’s last with Ajax, as he has entered the final year of his contract with the club. Such a situation has captured the attention of Barcelona, AS Roma and Napoli.
The interest from Barcelona makes sense, considering Sergino Dest has failed to impress Xavi Hernandez since the club legend’s appointment as the new manager. So much so that the Barcelona boss has sanctioned his sale at the earliest possible opportunity. And with Dani Alves only a short-term solution, the Blaugrana must seek a replacement when they sell Dest.
As for AS Roma, their eagerness to sign Mazraoui is understandable, as Rick Karsdorp has not inspired much confidence lately, while Davide Santon is on the wrong side of 30. As a result, the Serie A giants have recently been linked with several right-backs, including Barcelona defender Dest.
Meanwhile, Napoli’s interest in Mazraoui is surprising, considering Giovanni Di Lorenzo is one of the best right-backs in Serie A. However, Kevin Malcuit is on the wrong side of 30 and has blown hot and cold during his stint at the Diego Armando Maradona Stadium. So, signing the 24-year-old Ajax defender might be a step in the right direction.
However, recent reports have claimed that Mazraoui is keen on joining Barcelona, meaning AS Roma and Napoli might have an uphill task convincing the Moroccan international to join them. And if either Serie A club fails to clinch a top-four finish, securing the services of the 24-year-old will be nigh on impossible. It remains to be seen what the future holds for the Ajax contract rebel.