Daley Blind has said he leaves Ajax with ‘pain in his heart’ and ‘tears in his eyes’ after his contract with the Eredivisie club was terminated early.
The ex-Manchester United defender is clearly devastated to be saying goodbye to the club he’d joined at eight years old, but his statement also suggested there were ‘circumstances’ that meant he had to leave.
The 32-year-old made his senior debut with Ajax back in 2008, before heading to Old Trafford in 2014.
He then returned to Amsterdam in 2018 in a £14million deal and has played 333 times there across the two spells, winning seven Eredivisie titles.
Blind played all but one league game for Ajax before the break in domestic action, but often came in for criticism from fans.
“With pain in my heart and tears in my eyes I have to say goodbye to the club. Playing for Ajax is the best thing there is,” he wrote in a statement posted on his Twitter page.
“Amsterdammers are often direct and demanding. That is also allowed, I like that and that is why I can always be honest with you. Together we have a special relationship and that was not always easy for me.
“Sometimes I had the feeling that I was playing against some of you and sometimes I felt that I was criticised just a little faster than many other players.
“That is absolutely not why I’m leaving. I am also grateful to you. The times you chanted my name I got goosebumps over and over. I am proud to have been part of this. It was an incredible time.”
“This is not how I imagined my end at Ajax, but due to ‘circumstances’ it turned out that way. I hope the right time will come to say goodbye to you. Make sure Ajax stays Ajax.”
Meanwhile, Ajax chief Edwin van der Sar said: “Over the course of the last few days, we reached an agreement with Daley to terminate his contract.
“I hope he can find another club to end his successful career with.”
Blind had played 19 times this campaign for last season’s Eredivisie winners.
Now he’ll be looking for his third club in his career, with Royal Antwerp reportedly interested in signing the versatile defender, according to The Sun.