Peter Bosz held his weekly press meeting at de Toekomst. Prior to Ajax – Willem II. However, the upcoming duel against the Tricolours wasn´t the only subject discussed in the press room of Ajax´s sports complex. The main topic of conversation was FC Barcelona´s interest in Jasper Cillessen.
On Thursday, it became global news that Barcelona was seriously interested in Jasper Cillessen. Ajax coach Bosz had been informed of this prior to the home game against Rostov. On Thursday, the Ajacieds had a day off. ¨So I haven´t seen the guys or the staff¨, answered Bosz to the first question about Cillessen and Barça. When asked about whether the keeper will play when Willem II visits the ArenA on Saturday, he says: ¨After this, I´m going to sit down to talk with Jasper, and find out how he feels. I can imagine that this interest affects Jasper.¨
In an earlier stage, Bosz had heard what was going on around the first keeper from Ajax director Marc Overmars. ¨But I don´t want to get ahead of things as long as nothing´s been decided. Jasper´s been part of this group for so long. Last season, Manchester United was interested in him. He played outstandingly during that time.¨
Four days after Ajax – Willem II, the important return match against Rostov in the play-off round for participation in the UEFA Champions League. Ajax needs to take care of business in Russia after a 1-1 tie in the home game against Rostov. ¨It would be terrible not to have Cillessen in Rostov¨, continued Bosz at de Toekomst. ¨We know that anything can happen until August 31 (last day of the transfer window). Unfortunately, as long as FIFA and UEFA don’t take any action, we´re in this situation. Anything can happen as long as the market is open. That´s hard, so close to that important match against Rostov.¨
As long as he´s part of the Ajax selection, Jasper Cillessen remains Ajax´s uncontested first keeper, emphasized Bosz once more. The names of back-up keepers Diederik Boer and Andre Onana were brought up in the press room. ¨I think Jasper Cillessen´s an outstanding keeper. There´s a reason that he´s on the Dutch national team, and that Barcelona´s interested in him. But I hope that he stays, wins with us tomorrow and against Rostov, and helps us reach the group phase of the CL. Onana has enormous potential and needs to get his shot. Diederik Boer also has what it takes to be an Ajax keeper. He´s an outstanding keeper as well.¨
It was only at the tail end of the press conference that the upcoming line-up against Willem II was discussed. On Saturday evening, it will be seen whether Joël Veltman starts as right back again, which is the position he played against Roda JC. ¨We need to beat Willem II tomorrow, so the best eleven will play. I´m not taking Rostov into consideration.¨
The Tilburg team is, in theory, Ajax´s first opponent with an offensive football philosophy. The Amsterdam team´s European and national matches thus far have been against defensively inclined teams. ¨Willem II is a team that wants to play, a team that plays close to the centre forward¨, said Ajax´s coach. ¨But it could be different on Saturday. Our way of playing often forces our opponents back a bit more.¨
As of 19:45 on Saturday, Ajax will have the chance to redeem itself for the 2-2 draw against Roda JC in the last competition match. ¨I was very critical after the match against Roda JC. But when I watched the match again, I didn´t think that it was as bad as when I had seen it from the bench. We should have decided the game much earlier. We also need to score against Willem II.¨