Barcelona’s board and staff have reportedly reached a unanimous agreement that Ajax midfielder Frenkie de Jong should be their number one transfer priority next summer.
Barca wanted to sign De Jong this summer but their bid was too low and Ajax were able to hold onto their hottest prospect after qualifying for the Champions League group stages.
Marc Overmars, a former Barcelona player and now sporting director at Ajax, claimed that “Barcelona didn’t value the player sufficiently.” Barcelona’s bid was around €30m; Ajax want €75m.
According to Barcelona-based news outlet SPORT, everyone with influence at the Catalan club, from general manager Pep Segura to manager Ernesto Valverde, agrees that De Jong needs to be next summer’s primary target.
With Ajax back in the Champions League for the first time since 2014/15, and aiming to take back the Eredivisie title from PSV Eindhoven, Overmars will not allow any of his star players to leave in January.
Barca have therefore identified next summer as the ideal moment to move for De Jong, although his value could rise considerably between now and then, based on Ajax’s European progress and De Jong’s fortunes with the Dutch national team.
The 21-year-old made his Netherlands debut against Peru last week and provided an assist for a goal within 15 minutes of being on the pitch.
He subsequently made his first competitive appearance for the Oranje in their narrow Nations League defeat to world champions France in Paris.
Although De Jong has said that he would like to play for Barcelona at some point, interest from other clubs including Tottenham and Real Madrid means that this deal is far from a foregone conclusion.