New Ajax deal for keeping starlet
By Mitchell Glorie
Last Updated: 01/01/70 1:00am
The 20-year-old's contract was due to expire in the summer although Ajax had an option to extend the deal by two more years.
However, Stekelenburg has sufficiently impressed the Ajax managment to earn an improved deal which now sees him tied to the Amsterdam ArenA until 2008.
Stekelenburg's new contract means that there are major doubts over Australian Joe Didulica's future at the club.
Romanian Bogdan Lobont is contracted until 2006, meaning Didulica is now the only Ajax keeper not to have a lengthy deal.
The Aussie's contract is due to expire this summer, and he now realises that - after Stekelenburg's new deal - he is likely to be surplus to requirements.
Stekelenburg and Didulica have been sharing the number one jersey this season, although the Dutch youngster now seems to be favourite to retain the shirt on a permanent basis.
"Ajax is my club, but if we don't agree, there will be plenty of other possibilities," admitted Didulica to Voetbal international.
"I'm in a state of luxury," he concluded.
Meanwhile, Ajax have allowed Colombian midfielder Daniel Cruz to join their Belgian feeder club Germinal Beershot Antwerp on loan for the rest of the season.
The 21-year-old made his Ajax debut in 2000, but has been struggling to get back into the first-team after breaking his ankle in 2001.