Ajax confirm Huntelaar talks with Real Madrid

Ajax Amsterdam have confirmed that they are in discussions with Real Madrid about selling striker Klaas Jan Huntelaar.

The 25-year-old Dutch international, who is recovering from a short-term ankle injury but has also been linked with Arsenal and Manchester United, is seen as a replacement for compatriot Ruud van Nistelrooy.

Van Nistelrooy, whose phenomenal scoring rate of 45 in 67 games has helped propel Madrid to two successive titles without ever really impressing, is out for the season with a torn knee cartilage.

Huntelaar is widely expected to move in the January transfer window, and after a weekend of feverish speculation his club have officially stated that they have received an offer – but are still in talks.

"Ajax is in talks with Real Madrid about the potential transfer of Klaas Jan Huntelaar to the Spanish club. At the moment there is no deal between the clubs," said a statement on the club website.

Madrid are said to be ready to splash 20 million Euros – just shy of £17m, at the current exchange rate – for the striker, whose contract expires in June 2010.

Rejected by PSV as a lad, Huntelaar joined Ajax in January 2005 and has scored 76 in 92 league games since. He has also bagged 10 in 18 for Holland.