Barcelona Manager Ernesto Valverde Talks Frenkie de Jong Amid Latest PSG Rumours

Rory Marsden@@roomarsdenFeatured ColumnistJanuary 17, 2019

Frenkie de Jong of Ajax during the Florida Cup 2019 match between Ajax Amsterdam v Sao Paulo FC at Orlando City Stadium on January 12, 2019 in Orlando, United States(Photo by VI Images via Getty Images)
VI-Images/Getty Images

Barcelona manager Ernesto Valverde says he can only wait and see where Frenkie de Jong ends up amid fresh rumours the Netherlands international plans to snub the Blaugrana in order to sign for Paris Saint-Germain. 

The Ajax midfielder has been heavily linked with Barca but has "broken an agreement" with the Camp Nou outfit so as to secure a move to PSG, per El Mundo Deportivo (Football Espana).

Valverde refused to confirm whether Barca have lost out on signing De Jong, but he did say the club is still on the lookout for a new forward, per El Mundo Deportivo (Football Espana):

"Whether De Jong ends up at PSG or somewhere else, I do not know the future. When we see where he plays, we'll make a judgment on it, but he is playing for Ajax and we are not talking about players from other teams.

"Signing a forward? We will try to do that in this window, but if we do not then we will continue with the players who are here and give chances to those in the B team."

BARCELONA, SPAIN - JANUARY 13: Ernesto Valverde, Manager of FC Barcelona looks on prior to the La Liga match between FC Barcelona and SD Eibar at Camp Nou on January 13, 2019 in Barcelona, Spain. (Photo by Quality Sport Images/Getty Images)
Quality Sport Images/Getty Images

De Jong, 21, enjoyed a breakout season in 2017-18, becoming a key part of the Ajax first team. And he has played a big role this term as they have reached the knockout rounds of the UEFA Champions League and kept pace with PSV Eindhoven in the Eredivisie title race.

The Dutchman has been compared with Johan Cruyff and Franz Beckenbauer and linked to Manchester City as well as PSG and Barca, per Jacob Steinberg of the Guardian.

His supreme passing range and effortless comfort on the ball have made links to the Camp Nou inevitable, as he looks a worthy heir to the likes of Xavi and Andres Iniesta.

De Jong has made it clear he will not leave Ajax in the January transfer window, but a summer move to one of Europe's superpowers seems inevitable.

Where Barca were previously in the driving seat, though, PSG are "increasingly optimistic" they will win the race to sign him because they can guarantee him an important role in the side at the Parc des Princes, per Jonathan Johnson of ESPN FC.

Central midfield has long been an area where PSG need to improve.

That is not necessarily the case at Barca, with whom De Jong would find himself competing with the likes of Ivan Rakitic, Arthur, Philippe Coutinho, Arturo Vidal and Adrien Rabiot if he moves to the Camp Nou:

PSG also have the financial clout to outbid Barcelona, both for De Jong's transfer fee and his wages.

Ajax are likely resigned to losing him in the summer, but De Jong still has a contract at the club until 2022, so they will be demanding a huge transfer fee.

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