New Barcelona recruit Frenkie de Jong has revealed that he was very tempted to join Tottenham last summer.
The highly-rated 21-year-old was a target for Pep Guardiola at City, while Paris Saint-Germain were also keen, but the LaLiga giants got their man, with De Jong penning a five-year contract, with the deal set to could include a further €11million in add-ons.
De Jong though says he considered an offer from Tottenham last summer “long and hard” but felt he owed Ajax another season.
Speaking exclusively in FourFourTwo magazine, De Jong said of Spurs’ interest: “The moment wasn’t right. I wasn’t finished at Ajax, as I hadn’t yet played a full season in my own position.
“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 considered their [Spurs’] offer long and hard. 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.”
De Jong’s aim is to win the Eredivisie title with Ajax this season, and they sit just two points behind PSV Eindhoven by two points with seven game to go, before leaving for his dream club.
“I’d always wanted to play for Barcelona,” he added. “The money they were prepared to pay Ajax [€75m, rising to €86m] showed me how serious they were. I felt I had to grab the opportunity, because maybe it wouldn’t come around again.
“Of course, [the fee] doesn’t mean I’ll automatically play from the start. But everything about Barcelona is beautiful. My family agreed I had to go for it. I’ll do everything in my power to succeed there.”
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