Jol to stay with Ajax despite Fulham offer

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The Independent Football

Martin Jol today confirmed he was staying at Ajax although he admits his agent did hold "serious talks" with Fulham.

Jol was Fulham's top target to replace Roy Hodgson, now at Liverpool, but their bid to bring the former Tottenham boss back to London has ended in failure.

Jol told the Ajax website this morning: "Ajax let me know they didn't want me to go.

"And I don't think I can bring myself to leave Ajax at this time.

"I came here last summer to be successful, the build a good team and to have fun.

"And those three things are what I am interested in achieving next season."

It is thought Jol came to that decision following constructive talks with Ajax chief executive Rik van den Boog, who offered assurances that any funds generated from the possible departures of big names Maarten Stekelenburg, Luis Suarez and Gregory van der Wiel this summer would be ploughed back into team strengthening.

Jol added: "The club and I share each other's concerns.

"Everyone knows that Ajax have financial difficulties.

"But we all want to perform better than last season. The expectations at Ajax are always high.

"Marko Pantelic, Dennis Rommedahl, Kennedy and Gabri have all left the club and we haven't added anyone yet.

"Also, there is the uncertainty about whether a few other key players will stay."

Jol, who joined Ajax from Hamburg last year, revealed it was not the first time he had been approached during his time in Amsterdam.

"I had offers from other clubs in April and May but brushed them aside," he said.

"But this time my agent Mino Raiola held serious talks with a delegation from the British club.

"I am pleased that these hectic days are over. We can now look to the future.

"We have a focus and that is Wednesday's (Champions League qualifier) against PAOK.

"We are all going to do our best to get the team to the desired level."

Van den Boog was pleased Jol was to remain at the ArenA.

"It is annoying it has dragged on for a week," he said, "but the important thing is the result and that is good because Martin continues at Ajax."

Van den Boog was mystified how the speculation over Jol's future escalated to the extent it did.

He told the Algemeen Dagblad newspaper: "I find the publicity almost laughable and I have wondered 'what is this about?'.

"On the other hand, I understand it. It is Ajax.

"There was a club that wanted our coach. And they approached him at a time when he didn't have a lot of confidence in the squad.

"The coach answered questions about it and was flattered by the attention - that I understand."

"But he is under contract with us and his relationship with the club is good."