The Ajax midfielder Frenkie de Jong will join Barcelona this summer on a five-season contract for €75m (£65.3m).
The 21-year-old Netherlands international has been one of Europe’s most sought after young players, with Manchester City and Paris Saint-Germain also interested in signing him. But after weeks of negotiations, De Jong’s arrival in a deal that could eventually rise to €86m was confirmed by Barça’s Twitter account on Wednesday with the message: “A new artist is coming next summer”.
The 21-year-old midfielder has been impressing coaches and experts the world over with his technique and versatility. Barça had to pay a large sum to get him ahead of Paris Saint-Germain, who according to media reports, were very close to signing him first.
De Jong will spend the rest of the season at Ajax, meaning he is free to face Real Madrid in the Champions League last-16 tie next month.
“FC Barcelona and Ajax have reached an agreement for the transfer of midfielder Frenkie de Jong, who will be joining the Catalan club from 1 July 2019,” a statement on the club’s website read.
De Jong joined Ajax in 2015 from Willem II and quickly set about securing a place at the base of the club’s midfield, playing a pivotal role as they reached the 2017 Europa League final, where they lost to Manchester United.
He is Barcelona’s fourth signing in what is proving to be a busy January after the loan arrivals of Jeison Murillo and Kevin-Prince Boateng. The club also announced that Jean-Clair Todibo will join from Toulouse in the close season, while Munir El Haddadi left the club to join Sevilla.