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Jari Litmanen is to leave Dutch giants Ajax at the end of the season after the club confirmed they would not be renewing his contract in the summer.

The Finnish striker has struggled with injuries all season and his lack of fitness has forced Ajax to make the decision to release him.

“We deplore this decision but unfortunately due to physical problems he was not able to bring what everyone had hoped for,” said Ajax chief Arie van Eijden.

Litmanen was a member of the 1995 squad that lifted the UEFA Champions League but after unsuccessful spells at Liverpool and Barcelona, he returned to Amsterdam in 2002. However, he has failed to recapture the form that saw him regarded as one of Europe’s most feared strikers.

“I will not continue at Ajax as a player. I probably won’t remain in any capacity with Ajax in the near future. In principle I want to continue playing,” Litmanen told Finnish tabloid Ilta-Sanomat.

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