Ajax starlet and Europe’s one of brightest young talent, Frenkie de Jong has completed his move to Barcelona in a 65m (pound) deal to Barca, but will move to the Catalan giants in the summer.
De Jong, just 21, is the latest addition to Barca’s ranks, after they signed Kevin Prince Boateng from Sassuolo on a loan deal till the end of season, with an option to make him permanent.
Frenkie De Jong was being chased by many top clubs in Europe, including the likes of PSG, Manchester City and Manchester United. While United’s interest ended last year, after the club hierarchy decided to move away from the youngster, a decision criticised by the United scout, Derek Langley, Manchester City and PSG continued their pursuit for the youngster until Barcelona moved swiftly in this January window to sign De Jong’s services from July 2019.
De Jong now adds competition to Barcelona starling midfield, comprising of the likes of Philippe Coutinho, Ivan Rakitic, Arturo Vidal and Rafinha. Not to forget, Barca also have the likes of veteran Sergio Busquets, Brazilian midfielder Arthur Melo, and top academy graduates Riqui Puig, and Carlas Alena.
Reports suggest City refused to match the financial demands of De Jong, and Ajax. As per the reports, Barca would pay De Jong, whopping 307,000 (pound) as weekly salary, while 65m for a 21 year old was also cited as a roadblock from those sitting high up the chain at Manchester City.
City boss Pep Guardiola had previously accepted defeat in signing players like Frenkie de Jong due to the club’s inability to compete with the likes of Real Madrid and Barcelona.
Guardiola said: “If you are the only one who want players, it’s easy. Normally when you are involved with Madrid and Barcelona, you are going to lose. You have to be quicker and more efficient.”
It remains to be seen how will Barcelona play with De Jong, where he would fit in, and which of those stars currently in the Barcelona midfield would be sacrificed to have De Jong play and prove his hefty price tag.
Coutinho, for example, has been unhappy lately due to lack of regular playing time, after his 150m move from Liverpool and it might be an interesting summer for the Brazilian.
De Jong on the other hand, adds youth and skill to the Catalan giants team. Barcelona have been known to promote youth from their academy, but their transfer strategy has lately shifted to buying good young players, and De Jong is another addition to the list.
Club president Josep Maria Bartomeu expressed his delight with De Jong’s signing, which promises a better future for the club.
With the arrival of Frenkie De Jong we add talent, youth and Barça style to our sporting project. We are convinced that he will be a key part of our team for years to come. Welcome, Frenkie! pic.twitter.com/9HCHmrlqvj
— Josep Maria Bartomeu (@jmbartomeu) January 23, 2019