Rangers sell Calvin Bassey to Ajax for a club-record fee that could rise to around £23m; Rangers signed Bassey for £230,000 from Leicester City; Bassey played 50 times for Rangers last season; Ibrox side looking to make more signings this window
Wednesday 20 July 2022 13:29, UK
Ajax have confirmed the signing of Calvin Bassey from Rangers on a five-year contract for a deal worth just under £23m.
The fee is £19.6m (€23m) but with add-ons could rise to £22.7m (€26.5m) with the deal also thought to include a 10 per cent sell-on fee.
Bassey has signed a contract with Ajax until June 2027 and arrived in Austria on Wednesday to join the Dutch champions' training camp.
His departure will see Rangers pocket a club-record fee for a player that cost them a mere £230,000 from Leicester two years ago. Rangers sold academy graduate Nathan Patterson to Everton in a deal worth up to £16m in January.
"Rangers Football Club can confirm Calvin Bassey has joined Ajax in a deal which is the largest in Rangers' history," a club statement read.
"Calvin leaves with best wishes from everyone at Rangers and we thank him for his hard work and commitment over the past two seasons.
"The 22-year-old joined Rangers from Leicester City for a Training Compensation Fee in the summer of 2020, making 65 appearances for the Light Blues.
"Bassey played his part in Rangers' historic 55th league title victory, won the 2022 Scottish Cup, while also having a huge role in the incredible UEFA Europa League run to the final in Seville last season.
"We wish Calvin all the best for his future career."
The highly-rated defender was attracting interest from Brighton and clubs across Europe, including Bundesliga and Serie A sides.
Sky Sports News reported in May that Bassey was also a target for former Gers boss Steven Gerrard, now at Aston Villa.
It is understood Ajax head coach Alfred Schreuder had spoken to Bassey over the phone and was impressed, with the Dutch club preparing a formal bid as they look to replace Lisandro Martinez, who is set to join Manchester United.
Bassey made 50 appearances across all competitions last season and was named in the Europa League team of the season following Rangers' run to the final.
He also played a key role as the club won the Scottish Cup in May, adding to the Scottish Premiership title he won the previous campaign.
Rangers have already added Antonio Colak, Tom Lawrence, Rabbi Matondo and John Souttar to their squad this summer, but are expected to make further moves during the window.
With reported interest in Rangers' other left-back Borna Barisic, the club are looking at adding more defensive options, as well as bolstering their attacking line-up as the club bid to qualify for the Champions League and reclaim the Scottish Premiership title.
Former Rangers striker Kris Boyd told Sky Sports News:
"Especially towards the end of this season, and the Europa League run that Rangers had, Bassey was unbelievable. He's versatile too; he can play left-back, he can play the left of a two, left of a three, the centre of three and I think that's why he's attracting clubs. We know, nowadays, that when teams are looking at players, they are looking at them to cover numerous positions and he, Bassey, certainly falls into that category.
"These performances towards the end of the season for Rangers were outstanding and you felt as if the team got lots of belief from that as well. They didn't have to protect the back line as much because of his pace, recovery, ability to deal with one-on-one situations. If he has to go, as it look as though is going to happen, he will be a big miss for Rangers.
"Players have left in the past and they replaced, but I think this one could be a little bit difficult because of that versatility. I think Rangers will need cover. Borna Barisic is there, but he's been linked with moves away as well. So they are going to need someone to come in at left-back, and someone that can play on the left-hand side of a two or a three as well off the back of losing Bassey.
"Virgil van Dijk proved it at the top level, but I think is very harsh on such a young boy, at this moment, time to label him. But he's showing that he's got the attributes; he's got the pace, he's got the aggression, he's good with the ball, he can defend one-on-ones, so he will be an attractive signing for someone.
Who will be on the move this summer before the transfer window closes at 11pm on September 1.
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