Interviews

Kluivert: ‘What did Mourinho say to me after the Europa League final? It wasn't transfer talk’

Justin Kluivert has told FourFourTwo what Jose Mourinho really said to him after last season's Europa League final

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The Dutch winger, and son of legendary striker Patrick, only made his Eredivisie debut for Ajax in January 2017 but has quickly attracted attention from Europe's top clubs.

After scoring twice in 14 league games in the second half of last season, the 19-year-old has added another six goals this term, including a brilliant hat-trick against Roda JC.

Arsenal, Chelsea, Tottenham and Manchester United have all been mentioned as possible destinations for Kluivert, and Red Devils supremo Mourinho was snapped talking to the teen after United’s 2-0 win over Ajax in the 2017 Europa League Final.

However, the starlet reveals they were simply reminiscing about the old days, when Mourinho was Barcelona's assistant coach and Justin’s dad was still a player there.

Mourinho said it was nice to see me again, because he had known me when I was a baby

Speaking exclusively in the April 2018 issue of FourFourTwo magazine, Kluivert says: “He said it was nice to see me again after such a long time, because he had known me when I was a baby. And he said it was nice to see that I was doing well.

“My highlight has been the Europa League final, even though I didn’t play. Such an occasion is unique and to be there was so special. You won’t experience that often.”

There’s even been talk that Lionel Messi has told Barcelona’s board to bring Kluivert to the Camp Nou, two decades after his father first arrived in Catalonia. The Flea – then in Barça’s academy – was a big fan of the striker who hit more than 120 goals for the club.

I’m not in contact with Messi, so I don’t know if it’s true. Only he knows if that happened, but it’s nice to hear. My two main goals are winning the Eredivisie title with Ajax and then making my debut for the Netherlands

Kluivert admits he is flattered by the Messi speculation, but insists he’s currently focused on bringing the Eredivisie title back to Amsterdam and earning an international call-up.

“I’m not in contact with Messi, so I don’t know if it’s true,” he says. “Only he knows if that happened, but it’s nice to hear.

“My two main goals are winning the Eredivisie title with Ajax and then making my debut for the Netherlands, and of course to keep improving.

“I want to improve on everything. I’m still young. I give everything in training and I also make a point of trying to improve even the things that already going well.”

Read the full interview with Justin Kluivert in the April 2018 issue of FourFourTwo magazine. A best young players special, we also speak exclusively to Kylian Mbappe, Richarlison, Ryan Sessegnon, Gianluigi Donnarumma, Trent Alexander-Arnold, Harry Winks and Timo Werner, and meet the people who shaped Marcus Rashford’s career. Plus, we go One-on-One with Rafael van der Vaart and experience the ‘Israel-Palestine Derby’ between Beitar Jerusalem and Bnei Sakhnin, after Donald Trump poured oil on the flames of an already-heated affair. Order a copy today, and then subscribe!