Sparta coach Maurice Steijn is leaving to take charge of Ajax after he triggered a release clause in his contract, the Rotterdam club have confirmed.
Steijn, 49, is expected to be unveiled in the next few days at the Johan Cruyff ArenA as the permanent successor to Alfred Schreuder, who was sacked in January.
John Heitinga, who stepped in as interim coach until the end of the season, learned last week that his contract would not be extended because the club wanted someone with more experience.
Sparta’s director of football, Sven Mislintat, said Steijn’s contract included a clause enabling him to leave for a transfer fee of €400,000, the Telegraaf reported.
Steijn led Sparta to a sixth place in the Eredivisie last season, the club’s best finish since 1996, after rescuing them from relegation in the last four matches of the previous term.
His previous clubs include ADO Den Haag, VVV Venlo and NAC Breda. Steijn is expected to appoint Hedwiges Maduro and Saïd Bakkati as his assistants.
For Ajax, the appointment of Steijn comes after the club were unable to persuade Kjetil Knutsen, the highly rated coach of Norwegian club Bobø/Glimt, to move to Amsterdam. Glasgow Celtic are also among the clubs said to be interested in Knutsen.
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