Barcelona will have to wait until the summer of 2019 to be able to sign Frenkie De Jong, with Ajax reportedly closing the door for him to be sold
According to a report by Spanish publication Sport, Ajax have made their decision on Frenkie De Jong’s availability, closing the door for him to be sold this summer. Barcelona were interested in signing the Dutch prodigy, who also confirmed that he will be staying with the Eredivisie giants this season.
Barcelona’s have been eager to completely overhaul their midfield this summer to create the perfect mix of experience and youth to challenge on all fronts this season. The Blaugrana have already added Arthur and Arturo Vidal to their squads, but have been scouring the possibility of signing a third midfielder.
Among their shortlist of players is Dutch prodigy Frenkie De Jong, who has a lot of hype and excitement surrounding his talent in Netherlands. His time at Ajax has been blighted by injuries, but the player has shown a lot of promise as well as versatility, with Barcelona reportedly eyeing him as a possible long-term successor to Andres Iniesta, a player they have been unable to replace so far.
But, Barcelona’s desperation to add to Ernesto Valverde’s options in midfield is slightly perplexing, even though they have been unable to truly replace Iniesta. The Catalans currently have as many as seven midfielders, none of whom are likely to be offloaded this summer.
Adding De Jong will create a problem of plenty that will only lead to unhappy players in the dressing room owing to irregular game time. Ajax’s stance on the player’s availability though, could have solved Barcelona’s problem for them, for now.
The Blaugrana had been hoping that a possible failure to qualify for the Champions League this season would compel the Dutch giants to sell the 21-year-old this summer. But, Eredivisie outfit are on course to make the group stage of Europe’s premier club competition after beating Dynamo Kiev 3-1 in the first leg of their final qualifying fixture.
Entrevistei De Jong, pretendido pelo Barcelona, ao final do jogo do Ajax. Disse que o Barça seria um grande passo na carreira, mas que nesta temporada vai ficar na Holanda.
— Marcelo Bechler (@marcelobechler) August 22, 2018
With Champions League qualification now a big possibility, Ajax will not sell De Jong, who himself confirmed that he will stay put at the club this summer. This is the second he instance when he was addressing his links with Barcelona, although this time he was more certain of his stance.
Indeed, one more year of regular first-team football will only be beneficial for the youngster’s development. Next summer though, he could be a solid addition to the Barcelona squad that will have a number of players aged over 30 that will need to be slowly phased out.
For now, it looks certain that De Jong is remaining at Ajax. It remains to be seen if Barcelona conclude their summer spending on midfielders, or if they set their sights elsewhere after failing to land the 21-year-old Dutch prodigy.