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Dublin: 13 °C Monday 10 August, 2020

Barcelona complete €75 million move for promising Ajax star Frenkie de Jong

The 21-year-old will join the defending La Liga champions at the end of this season in July.

De Jong made five appearances for the Netherlands in 2018.
De Jong made five appearances for the Netherlands in 2018.
Image: SIPA USA/PA Images

LA LIGA LEADERS Barcelona have completed a deal for Dutch international Frenkie de Jong in a move worth €75 million, with the 21-year-old joining the Catalans at the end of this season on 1 July.

De Jong has starred for club and country this season, helping Ajax as they bid to secure their first league title since 2014, as well as helping the side into the knockout stages of the Champions League for the first time in 13 years.

Hailed as a Dutch genius, the Ajax midfielder has been routinely compared to Johan Cruyff, with the 21-year-old’s skill, close control and direct running likened favourably to the Netherlands legend.

The club said on Wednesday: “The latest addition to the Barca squad continues a long and successful tradition of Dutch players at the club, going all the way back to the great Johan Cruyff who came to the Camp Nou in 1973, and including such illustrious names as Ronald Koeman, Patrick Kluivert, Frank de Boer and current first team goalkeeper Jasper Cillessen.”

The central midfielder is one of Europe’s most promising young talents and has attracted attention from a host of top clubs including Manchester City and PSG.

After beginning his career in Willem II’s academy, De Jong moved to Ajax in 2015. He progressed through the clubs youth ranks before making a number of first-team appearances in 2017 — coming on as a substitute in the Europa League final against Manchester United.

Barcelona president Josep Maria Bartomeu said the Dutchman would prove to be an integral part of the club’s project in years to come.

“With the arrival of Frenkie De Jong we add talent, youth and Barça style to our sporting project,” he said. “We are convinced that he will be a key part of our team for years to come.”

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Aaron Gallagher

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