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Barcelona signed Frenkie De Jong against the will of Ernesto Valverde - report

Frenkie De Jong

The Netherlands international joined the Camp Nou club for £65 million, after a deal was struck with Ajax in January.

But a report in Dutch outlet De Telegraaf claims that the coach didn’t want the playmaker at Barcelona, and it was the youngster’s desire to join the Catalan club that saw the move go ahead.

It is claimed that PSG boss Thomas Tuchel and Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola tried hard to convince the 22-year-old to join their sides before his decision was made.

Both coaches invited the midfielder to their respective cities and assured him of an important role, but he was taken by the idea of pulling on the Barcelona shirt and playing alongside Lionel Messi.

It is claimed that De Jong approached Barcelona, not vice versa, before the deal was agreed for his move.

De Jong has settled well in La Liga, scoring one goal in 17 league appearances for the club this season under Valverde.

He also featured in every Champions League group game as the Catalan giants finished ahead of Borussia Dortmund, Inter Milan and Slavia Prague to set up a last 16 tie with Napoli.

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