The Spanish press reports the behind the scenes of the successful transfer of Frenkie de Jong, who had privileged PSG before finally choosing FC Barcelona.
“The fact that I did not opt for PSG but for Barça is purely because it is Barça. “This sentence, dropped by Frenkie De Jong at Telegraaf’s Dutch newspaper, will delight blaugranas fans as much as it will frustrate Parisian fans. After weeks of negotiations, twists and turns, the young Ajax Amsterdam midfielder has chosen to sign for FC Barcelona, where he will play from next season. The PSG did all it could to snatch the signature of the 21-year-old prodigy, but finally bowed.
In its issue of the day, the pro-Barça newspaper Mundo Deportivo takes a look behind the scenes at the transfer that agitated the catalan General Staff. And for good reason, President Josep Maria Bartomeu made it a personal matter. After the failure Griezmann, he was aware of not having the right to error with the socios. “If things go wrong, they will kill me”, he would have basically let the leaders present with him last Thursday when they went to Amsterdam to convince the player. That day, Pep Segura, Eric Abidal and Bartomeu had come to talk to the player and to touch the sentimental fiber. On the connection between the Dutch players and Barça, on his playing time, on his future importance within the catalan club.
The 3-hour meeting that changed everything.
Until that moment, Frenkie de Jong was rather in favour of signing in Paris, where he felt he had more room to win. While he had looked closely at the list of midfielders present in the Barcelona squad and feared that his progress would be impeded… the conversation with de Jong lasted three hours, in a hotel. The next day, it was PSG’s turn to present its arguments, but the trend had already changed and the discourse of the Spaniards was right. From a financial point of view, de Jong had reached an agreement with both clubs and he therefore made his decision on purely sporting and affective grounds. He then communicated his choice to his agent, Ali Dursun, who went to Camp Nou to see Barcelona-Leganés last Sunday and meet the blaugrana management. He explained to them that his foal had definitely chosen the catalan club and that they could now conclude the deal.
This did not prevent the catalan club from being afraid to the end, namely yesterday Wednesday. As Mundo Deportivo writes, ” Bartomeu knew that Nasser Al-Khelaifi was preparing to torpedo Barça’s negotiations at the last minute. And to torpedo in PSG means to put the only thing that you possess : money and even more money”. FC Barcelona didn’t want to make it official until it was all over and was finally able to announce the news to their supporters on Wednesday, not without satisfaction.