Barcelona’s plans for the future have reportedly changed after the confirmation of Frenkie de Jong transfer from Ajax.
The 21-year-old have completed a deal to move to the Camp Nou next summer for a cut-throat price of £66m. The transfer fee could rise to £74.5m (€84m) with De Jong also handed a massive contract.
The Blaugrana are also eager to sign the defensive midfielder’s teammate, Matthijs de Ligt who is expected to charge a salary similar to de Jong. This could potentially hamper proceedings back at Nou Camp which already accommodates sizeable contracts.
Spanish news outlet, AS, claims that Barca president, Josep Maria Bartomeu has assured de Jong that his playing time will not be affected next season as the club plans on selling a few of their key players.
Ivan Rakitic, Philippe Coutinho and Samuel Umtiti are understood to be on Barcelona’s trade block, all of whom play in positions Frenkie de Jong is familiar with.
Rakitic’s contract extension is still widely uncertain with Coutinho failing to be full impactful since his record-breaking switch from Liverpool. Umtiti is turning out to be an injury liability which forced Valverde to acquire a loan signing in Jeison Murrillo this January.
The Dutch starlet’s talents are optimised when he is made to play as the midfield general from deep-lying central positions, a responsibility that Sergio Busquets has made it his own over the past decade.
de Jong can succeed into the shoes of the 30-year-old or even play alongside him under Ernesto Valverde. However, the midfield is currently packed with names like Coutinho, Arthur Melo, Rakitic, Arturo Vidal, Denis Suarez, Rafinha and Carlos Alena.