Ajax want to invest some of their sizeable transfer profits in a move for Rangers defender Calvin Bassey.

But the Dutch giants face competition from Brighton as the chase for the 22-year-old Ibrox star intensifies.

Sportsmail understands both clubs have already made approaches but are yet to put forward offers that would be deemed acceptable.

Rangers are keen to retain Bassey in the wake of his excellent breakout season and have placed a £25million price tag on the player.

Ajax want to test that resolve as they prepare to rake in around £46m from the transfer of Argentine defender Lisandro Martinez to Manchester United.

Coach Alfred Schreuder has identified Bassey as his preferred replacement for Martinez, with one report in the Netherlands claiming they have already spoken by phone.

The Amsterdam club have already banked more than £40m this summer from the sales of Sebastian Haller and Ryan Gravenberch to Borussia Dortmund and Bayern Munich respectively.

They have paid out £26m to sign winger Steven Bergwijn from Tottenham, as well as £9m on AZ Alkmaar defender Owen Wijndal —and now have Bassey very much in their sights.

The Eredivisie side are hoping to use some of the funds from the sale of Lisandro Martinez
Brighton’s interest is thought to be longer-standing than their Dutch rivals.

The English Premier League side, who finished ninth last season, could be poised to secure a transfer windfall of their own if Manchester City follow through on a wish to sign left-back Marc Cucurella.

Steven Gerrard’s Aston Villa have also been closely monitoring Bassey’s position, as have a number of clubs in Germany and Italy.

The Nigeria international progressed rapidly under Giovanni van Bronckhorst’s guidance after the Dutchman succeeded Gerrard as manager at Ibrox last November.

He was a standout performer in the Europa League final defeat to Eintracht Frankfurt and man of the match as Rangers lifted the Scottish Cup with victory over Hearts at the end of last term.

Van Bronckhorst spoke recently of wanting to continue Bassey’s development at Ibrox. However, with two years left on the player’s current contract, this window could be the optimum point for a hugely profitable return on the £230,000 paid to sign Bassey from Leicester City in 2020.

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