Former Barcelona star Eric Abidal has explained that Tottenham were in the race to sign Frenkie de Jong before the La Liga giants recruited the Dutchman in January 2019.
The Frenchman was the club’s technical secretary at the time of the move and played a major role in bringing the youngster to the Nou Camp.
Paris Saint-Germain were mooted as Barcelona’s greatest rivals for the former Ajax man’s signature.
But Abidal, who made a heroic recovery from a liver tumour in 2012, has shed more light on the situation. Not only Tottenham were in the running, but Manchester City too.
Speaking to L’Equipe (via Sport Witness), the 41-year-old said: “I was already following Frenkie before arriving at the club. We had to recruit for this position and that was our priority.
“Manchester City, Paris, Bayern and Tottenham made good progress on the matter. But we are Barca and we knew that his dream was to play for us.
“We therefore decided to attack and first contact Ajax, with whom Barca has always had good relations, then his representative.”
Since moving to Spain, 23-year-old de Jong has scored eight times in 80 appearances, assisting a further ten.
Barcelona travel to PSG in the Champions League Last 16 on Wednesday night, currently 4-1 down from the first leg.
£23m striker admits to snubbing Tottenham
Hertha Berlin striker Krzysztof Piątek has revealed that he turned down a move to Tottenham last year.
The Poland international decided to further his career in Germany, rather than spending a loan spell in London.
The former AC Milan man was targeted as a temporary replacement for Harry Kane last Janaury, who was injured at the time.
“I don’t know if I can talk about it, but Milan must have received an offer from Tottenham to loan me for 1.5 years,” he said.
“That was when Harry Kane was injured and I was supposed to replace him for the first three months. However, Hertha were more specific.
“They immediately spent a lot of money, offered a definitive transfer and a 4.5-year contract. Their determination was enormous, it convinced me.”
Jose Mourinho instead landed Steven Bergwijn towards the end of that window.