Ajax midfielder Frenkie de Jong has revealed he came close to signing for Tottenham Hotspur last summer.
The 21-year-old is set to leave Amsterdam at the end of the season having already agreed a deal to Barcelona reported to be in the region of £65m.
How close was De Jong to Spurs move? Five key things to know…
- De Jong has made 77 senior appearances for Ajax since making his debut in the 2016/17 season.
- The midfielder has agreed a £65m move to Barcelona, set to be completed this summer.
- However, he has now revealed how close he came to moving to Spurs last year.
- The 21-year-old is an admirer of Pochettino and tips Spurs for great success in the future.
- De Jong, though, has revealed how he’s always dreamed of playing for Barcelona.
However, De Jong has revealed how different it could have been, admitting he was tempted by the deal on offer from north London.
“I considered their offer long and hard. The moment wasn’t right,” he told FourFourTwo.
De Jong’s 2017/18 campaign was largely disrupted by injury and constantly having to switch positions, prompting him to stay at Ajax for another year to continue his development.
“I wasn’t finished at Ajax, as I hadn’t yet played a full season in my own position,” he added.
“I was also injured in that period, so I was thinking, ‘not yet’. I felt I should stay for another year at Ajax, or perhaps longer.
“I see Tottenham as a very stable club, and they are only getting better.
“They give young players a chance and I see Mauricio Pochettino as a manager who really improves young players.
“I like the kind of football they are playing. I think it would have suited my game.”
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De Jong’s Barca dream
Despite his admiration for Spurs and Pochettino, De Jong will undoubtedly be relieved he put that potential move to the side, revealing how it’s always been his ‘dream’ to play for Barcelona.
“I always dreamed of Barca as a kid,” he said. “I just wanted to play for Barca.
“I liked the players, I liked the style. I think Barca is a bit of my dream club.”
De Jong completed more passes (57) than any other player on the pitch as Ajax beat PSV 3-1 on Sunday to move to within three points of their rivals at the top of the Eredivisie table.