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Ajax swoop to sign Huntelaar

AFC Ajax have announced the signing of SC Heerenveen striker Klaas Jan Huntelaar, the top scorer in the Dutch Eredivisie, for a €9m fee.

AFC Ajax have announced the signing of SC Heerenveen striker Klaas Jan Huntelaar, who moves to the UEFA Champions League contenders on a four-and-a-half year contract after the two clubs agreed a €9m transfer fee.

Scoring spree
The 22-year-old forward, who is currently the top scorer in the Dutch Eredivisie with 16 goals in 14 league appearances so far, could be eligible for Ajax's first knockout round meeting with FC Internazionale Milano despite having already represented Heerenveen in this season's UEFA Cup; sides are allowed to register one player who has appeared in UEFA competition for another team provided it is not the same tournament.

Loan star
Huntelaar has signed a contract until 30 June 2010 with Ajax and will report for training on 8 January. The striker started his career at De Graafschap, before moving to PSV Eindhoven in 2000. He was unable to make the breakthrough at PSV, however, and spent the 2003/2004 campaign on loan at second division side AGOVV Apeldooran, where he scored 26 league goals. Huntelaar made a permanent move away from Eindhoven in summer 2004, signing a three-year contract with Heerenveen.

Blind faith
Despite having previously played only ten matches in the Dutch top flight - comprising a solitary appearance for PSV and nine while on loan at De Graafschap in 2002/2003 - Huntelaar proved an instant success at Heereveen, scoring 17 league goals last season and carrying that form into the current campaign. Ajax coach Danny Blind is delighted with his capture, saying: ""Huntelaar is a real striker who will fit in just fine at Ajax. He is the top scorer in the Netherlands and still young. I have a lot of faith in Klaas Jan and his future with Ajax."