Football

Barcelona’s Main Objective: Frenkie De Jong

Ajax closed the door on Barcelona’s earlier attempts to sign Frenkie De Jong but that might change again in the next few days. The initial talks were undertaken by now former director of football Robert Fernandez and Pep Segura. Those talks didn’t come to fruition because the Dutch side, led by their own director of football Marc Overmars, refused to discuss the idea of losing one of their star players. Barça’s offer, which was less than €50m, didn’t particularly entice Ajax to negotiate, and less so after they’d already sold Justin Kluivert to Roma. For this reason Ajax don’t need to sell De Jong for anything less than their asking price, but things can change very quickly in football. Eric Abidal is now leading the negotiations.

Barcelona haven’t forgotten about the midfielder who is well liked by all members of the coaching team. De Jong’s age is a factor, he’s only 21, but the fact he can also play as the defensive member of the pivot as well as the attacking one ticks yet more boxes. The player, who was injured for almost five months last season, hasn’t been involved in any of Ajax’s three preseason matches so far. He recently got the green light to return to training following that ankle injury which kept him out of the team since the 25th February.

Because of this, Barcelona have decided they want to sign him this summer and Abidal has already called his friend Overmars to discuss another meeting over De Jong’s future. Barça’s intention is to increase the original offer made to Ajax and then convince the player that he would have a part to play in the team straight away. In fact, De Jong’s representatives have already spoken to Overmars and the club and asked them to consider any offer which comes their way from the Camp Nou. The main obstacle in Barcelona’s path isn’t the cost of the deal, but rather Ajax’s sporting intentions next season. With the Eredivisie losing their automatic Champions League group stage spot, it’s important the Dutch side improves its squad ahead of the qualifying rounds for the competition. Domestically, too, there is room for improvement at Ajax as PSV won the league title last season. If Ajax want to reclaim their throne, De Jong is key in doing that.

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