Marc Overmars Rules out Frenkie de Jong Transfer Amid Barcelona Rumours

James Dudko@@JamesDudkoFeatured ColumnistSeptember 12, 2018

ARNHEM, NETHERLANDS - SEPTEMBER 2: Frenkie de Jong of Ajax  during the Dutch Eredivisie  match between Vitesse v Ajax at the GelreDome on September 2, 2018 in Arnhem Netherlands (Photo by Erwin Spek/Soccrates/Getty Images)
Soccrates Images/Getty Images

Barcelona's chances of signing Frenkie de Jong this season don't look good after Ajax sporting director Marc Overmars ruled out selling the 21-year-old during the January transfer window. 

Barca pursued De Jong during the summer and remain keen, but Overmars remains adamant the interest will go nowhere, per AS (h/t MailOnline's Jordan Seward): "Barcelona can return in January if they want, but no player will leave."

The Blaugrana are said to have "stepped up their pursuit" after Tottenham Hotspur appeared as a suitor, according to Seward. He also noted there was even a provisional agreement to transfer De Jong to the Camp Nou next summer.

However, things have changed since Overmars revealed Barca's offers this year "did not correspond with Frenkie's qualities," per Sport (h/t ESPN FC's Sam Marsden).

Overmars isn't prepared to cash in on De Jong.
Overmars isn't prepared to cash in on De Jong.Soccrates Images/Getty Images

Overmars and Ajax also knocked back Tottenham's bid, believed to be £45 million, per Mundo Deportivo (h/t another report from Seward). It means Barca can expect to have to part with a hefty fee if the club is to finally secure one of the brightest young talents in Europe.

The silver lining for the Blaugrana comes from the player leaving the door open to a possible move in the future. Speaking to NOS (h/t Goal's Harry Sherlock), De Jong said: "Maybe someday I'll join Barcelona, but not this season. I'm staying at Ajax. I think it will be a good year."

Able to play in defence or at the base of midfield, De Jong is blessed with the technique typical of a player schooled at Ajax. He's also not afraid to engage in the more rugged aspects of the game, showcasing decent aerial power and strength in one-on-one battles.

There is little doubt he'd be an asset at Barca, where manager Ernesto Valverde needs to refresh key positions at the back. Javier Mascerhano, long an essential utility defender and holding midfielder at the Camp Nou, is now plying his trade in the Chinese Super League.

Javier Mascherano moving on has left a void in Barca's squad.
Javier Mascherano moving on has left a void in Barca's squad.Alex Caparros/Getty Images

Without him, there isn't an obvious alternative to 30-year-old Sergio Busquets, who still performs a vital job screening the back four. Meanwhile, centre-back Gerard Pique is 31, while top deputy Thomas Vermaelen is 32.

De Jong would provide an infusion of youth in the spine of Valverde's team. It makes him a worthy target, but it also explains why the Blaugrana will need to stump up the cash.

Related

    Denis Suarez Makes His First Squad of the Season

    FC Barcelona logo
    FC Barcelona

    Denis Suarez Makes His First Squad of the Season

    Ramiro Aldunate
    via MARCA in English

    'Girona Will Visit the Camp Nou with Determination'

    FC Barcelona logo
    FC Barcelona

    'Girona Will Visit the Camp Nou with Determination'

    MARCA
    via MARCA in English

    Opinion: Vinicius Loan Can't Come Soon Enough

    World Football logo
    World Football

    Opinion: Vinicius Loan Can't Come Soon Enough

    Gianni Verschueren
    via Bleacher Report

    Valverde Not Ready to Consider Barca Contract Extension

    FC Barcelona logo
    FC Barcelona

    Valverde Not Ready to Consider Barca Contract Extension

    Gianni Verschueren
    via Bleacher Report