De Jong swayed by ‘key player’ promise

Source:AFP Published: 2019/7/7 18:18:41

Rising Dutch star Frenkie de Jong said that Barcelona's promise to make him a "key player" convinced him to sign for the Catalan giants earlier this year, as he was presented at the Camp Nou on Friday.

The 22-year-old midfielder impressed as Ajax won the Eredivisie title and reached the Champions League semifinals last season.

Barcelona announced the signing of De Jong in January for a 75 million euro ($84.3 million) fee on a five-year deal which started on July 1.

"Of course I was thinking about other clubs which were interested, but it's a normal process," he said. "I considered my options, which was best for me, Barcelona came to see me, they convinced me.

"The decision was easy for me. They said they had every confidence in me, that they thought I would be a key player for Barca in the future."

Reigning Spanish champions Barca have been looking to strengthen after a humiliating Champions League semifinal loss to Liverpool, and President Josep Maria Bartomeu also said Friday they had held talks with Atletico Madrid over a possible signing of French forward Antoine Griezmann.

De Jong joins a long list of Dutch players to sign for Barcelona, initiated by Johan Cruyff's moves there, also from Ajax, as a player in 1973, and as a coach in 1988. De Jong was a mainstay of the Ajax side last term, while also breaking into the Netherlands team and winning nine international caps.

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