Ajax signed Frenkie de Jong's replacement two weeks ago after it was confirmed the midfielder would move to Barcelona and now they've landed Matthijs de Ligt's substitute, leaving the centre-back free to follow De Jong to Camp Nou.
The Dutch club confirmed that they have reached a deal to sign Kik Pierie, an 18-year-old defender from Heerenveen, on a five-year deal. Pierie scored twice when Heerenveen drew 4-4 at the Johan Cruyff Arena in the Eredivisie in January.
It's a move which has been interpreted as Ajax preparing for De Ligt's exit. The Dutch international already has one foot out of Amsterdam and an official announcement is now just pending the conclusion of Ajax's participation in the Champions League.
Ten Hag's impressive young side have knocked out Real Madrid and Juventus to make the semifinal, which has delayed De Ligt's decision being made public.
FC Barcelona remain the favourites after landing his teammate De Jong for 75 million euros plus 11 million more in potential variables.
The curious thing about Ajax's move for Pierie? His desire is to one day play for Barça.
When he was younger he revealed: "This is my fifth year with Heerenven. I want to make the first team here and then I want to improve, go to Ajax and finally try to make it at Barcelona."
Here's how Ajax announced the signing:
Even voorstellen! ��— AFC Ajax (@AFCAjax) 17 d’abril de 2019
�� Kik Pierie
�� 18 jaar oud
�� 5-jarig contract#WelkomKik