BARCELONA

Valverde didn't want De Jong at Barcelona: De Telegraaf

The Dutch newspaper has reported that the Barça manager was not interested in the signing of the young Ajax star that moved to LaLiga in the summer.

Valverde didn't want De Jong at Barcelona: De Telegraaf
LLUIS GENE AFP

It was a sound signing. Frenkie de Jong was wanted by many of Europe's elite sides but it was Barcelona got the deal done. The Ajax youngster was, in fact, the Spanish champions' first big signing of the 2019/20 season, with an agreement in place for five seasons, up until 2024. The cost for the transfer amounted to 75 million euros, plus an extra 11 million in variables. It was all agreed in January, and a few months later, during which the player was on the verge of a Champions League final, De Jong joined the Barça ranks...under the orders of Ernesto Valverde.

De Jong not wanted by Valverde

The Dutch midfielder has adapated fairly well to life at the Camp Nou and has been receiving praise from many who watch the side each week. On Friday, however, it was being reported by De Telegraaf in his home country that Barcelona signed De Jong "against the will" of Valverde. This news comes just a week after Ajax dropped out of the Champions League, and the details of the story have not gone down well in the Netherlands.

The report states that it was De Jong who approached Barcelona.

"The midfielder fell in love with the famous name and status of FC Barcelona, and with their star man, Messi," claims the paper before criticising the way the manager uses the talented midfielder.

"He [Valverde] refuses to let De Jong deploy his strengths as a deep lying playmaker, a '6', or in that position from the left." They also say he is being forced to play “like he is on autopilot with the handbrake on” and that his role as a “dominant player” is not being seen.

Barcelona's Dutch midfielder Frenkie De Jong challenges Real Madrid's Brazilian midfielder Casemiro during the "El Clásico".

Barcelona's Dutch midfielder Frenkie De Jong challenges Real Madrid's Brazilian midfielder Casemiro during the "El Clásico".

Another point made by the news outlet is about the movements of both Thomas Tuchel and Pep Guardiola to try to convince the player to join PSG and Manchester City respectively. Tuchel invited De Jong to Paris while Guardiola brought him to Manchester, both seeing him as an important reinforcement, even speaking to the player about his role. It wasn't to be.