Frenkie de Jong Talks Neymar Barcelona Transfer Rumours, Lionel Messi

Matt JonesFeatured ColumnistJuly 20, 2019

Barcelona's Dutch midfielder Frenkie de Jong runs during the football club's first pre-season training session at the Joan Gamper training ground in Sant Joan Despi near Barcelona on July 15, 2019. (Photo by LLUIS GENE / AFP)        (Photo credit should read LLUIS GENE/AFP/Getty Images)
LLUIS GENE/Getty Images

Barcelona midfielder Frenkie de Jong has said he would relish the chance to play alongside Neymar, as the Paris Saint-Germain star continues to be linked with a move back to the Camp Nou.

De Jong arrived at Barcelona in the current window, having joined from Ajax after an exceptional 2018-19 season. Antoine Griezmann also signed for the Blaugrana from Atletico Madrid in another big-money switch.

Despite their spending, speculation persists about Barcelona moving for Neymar. Speaking with Jordi Gil of Sport, De Jong said he would be keen to link up with the PSG star.

"Of course I would like to play with Neymar," he said. "I think he's a really good player, but it isn't up to me to decide if he comes to Barcelona or not."

The Spanish Football Podcast joked about De Jong's decision to move to Barcelona instead of PSG this summer:

It was reported by Sky Sports that Barcelona have already made an offer to the French champions for Neymar. 

The Blaugrana are said to have proposed a package of £90 million in addition to two players, with PSG said to be able to chose a pair from Philippe Coutinho, Ousmane Dembele, Ivan Rakitic, Nelson Semedo, Malcom and Samuel Umtiti. In the same piece, it's noted that PSG value Neymar in excess of £200 million. 

Neymar was a key player for Barcelona before he made the shock decision to join PSG for a world-record fee in 2017. BT Sport provided a reminder of how effective he was alongside Luis Suarez and Lionel Messi:

Spanish football journalist Andy West examined the remarkable attacking riches Barcelona would have if they were able to bring Neymar in:

Regardless, the attack will be centred around Messi once again in the 2019-20 season. De Jong was full of praise for the Argentina star when asked about the prospect of sharing the field with him.

"I think he's the best player in the world," he said. "I'm looking forward to playing with all the guys (at Barcelona), not only with Messi."

Although the signing of Griezmann and pursuit of Neymar will attract the most attention, the Blaugrana have made potentially their most important acquisition of the summer in signing De Jong. Here is a reminder of one of his standout performances last term, as Ajax beat Juventus in the UEFA Champions League quarter-finals:

Barcelona have an abundance of quality in midfield, meaning De Jong will need to be at his best to play regularly. Sergio Busquets, Arthur Melo, Ivan Rakitic and Arturo Vidal will all be jostling for those midfield berths.

It means manager Ernesto Valverde will have a lot of positive selection headaches throughout the 2019-20 season. If Neymar were to arrive to bolster the squad further, then a number of big-name players would face a major fight for their place in the XI.

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