Frenkie de Jong once dreamed of following the same career path as Marc Overmars before Barcelona accelerated his trajectory.
The midfielder was one of Ajax’s standout performers in the Erik ten Hag side that made a memorable run to the Champions League semi-final in 2019. The majority of that iconic team have moved on with De Jong arriving at the Camp Nou that following summer.
The Dutch international has cemented his place in Barca’s midfield since joining the club but it’s claimed that the La Liga side are willing to let him leave this summer at the right price.
Spanish outlet El Chringuito reports Barcelona no longer considers the 24-year-old an indispensable member of the squad and are willing to listen to offers in the region of £60million. Manchester United have reportedly shown an interest as Ten Hag considers a reunion with De Jong. The new Old Trafford boss’ first order of business is to sign a midfielder to address a long-standing issue at the club.
It remains to be seen if De Jong is open to leaving Barcelona and if there are any other clubs that will enter the race. football.london suggests Arsenal could be in the mix given the player’s affection for the Emirates club.
And the Ajax-Arsenal-Barcelona route was something De Jong was potentially looking to replicate when he was still playing at the Amsterdam Arena before he ended up skipping the middle step as the Spanish giants came calling.
De Jong was a big fan of watching Arsenal growing up and hailed their “pretty beautiful past.”
“In my mind, I have had the following list for a long time: Ajax-Arsenal-Barcelona, call it the Marc Overmars route. But yes, if you can go directly to Barcelona, then you are also right where you want to be. Faster than you ever dared to dream.”
Arsenal technical director Edu has confirmed that he is ‘excited’ about the club’s plans in the summer transfer window as Mikel Arteta’s men plan to make ‘two marquee signings.’
“The budget we used last summer, we prefer to use it to rebalance the squad, there was no point in hiring one or two players [in January], the squad was not prepared to absorb two players, we needed to rebalance the squad,” Edu told ESPN Brasil. “Maybe next season we can go to one or two players.
“Today we find a much more balanced squad. Our planning has already been done, it has already reached the owners. It’s a matter of step by step, how we are going to finish the season and to put in plan the planning that I’m very excited about.”