Barcelona used De Jong to ‘RIDICULE’ PSG

Robin Bairner
Robin Bairner
  • 15 Apr 2024 11:15 BST
  • 4 min read
Mikky Kiemeney, Frenkie de Jong, Barcelona, PSG

Barcelona used the signing of Frenkie de Jong to Ajax to “ridicule” PSG, according to a report from L’Equipe.

The two European giants have established a fierce rivalry over the course of the last decade, which will continue on Tuesday in the Champions League as Barca seek to preserve a 3-2 advantage from the first leg to progress to the semi-finals.

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One of the key catalysts in this long-term battle between the clubs was PSG’s 2017 signing of Neymar. In a spectacular deal that remains the most expensive transfer in football history, the Ligue 1 side trigged the Brazilian’s €222 million release clause.

READ MORE: How much have Barcelona spent on transfers under Joan Laporta?

Player image Frenkie de Jong
Frenkie de Jong

M, DM (C)

FC Barcelona logo

FC Barcelona

Frenkie de Jong
Frenkie de Jong

M, DM (C)

FC Barcelona

FC Barcelona

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Barca did not want to part with Neymar, though, and took retribution on PSG two years later as they completed the signing of De Jong from Ajax.

It was a deal that PSG thought they had sealed.

The French side thought they had reached an agreement with the Amsterdam outfit over a €60m transfer at the end of December 2018 for a transfer that would be triggered the following summer. Ajax wanted €70-90m, the French source reports, yet PSG believed that no club would spend so much on the player.

Manchester City fell out of the face at this point, and amid a seesaw battle, it was Barcelona who came out on top. On 23 January, 2019, they announced a deal for De Jong worth €75m up front with €11m to follow.

READ MORE: Champions League top scorers 2023/24

Frenkie de Jong has become a key player at Barcelona
© IMAGO - Frenkie de Jong has become a key player at Barcelona

De Jong picks Barca over PSG

It seems straightforward why De Jong picked Barcelona over PSG, with the Blaugrana flexing historical muscles to do so.

L’Equipe reports: “The Spanish giant offered a salary lower than that of PSG but relied on other arguments: prestige of the club, style of play of the team, Dutch-Catalan links, quality of the squad and of LaLiga, to persuade the young man that this was the ideal environment for him.”

Ajax, meanwhile, likely used the interest of the French side to leverage more money out of the deal, which was an Eredivisie record until Antony left the Johan Cruyff ArenA for Manchester United in 2022.

Unlike many of the players Barcelona signed with the Neymar transfer fee, De Jong has flourished at Camp Nou, where he remains one of the leading central midfielders in the world.

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