Lionel Messi gave the all okay for Barcelona to sign Frenkie De Jong from Ajax, according to a report.
The Dutch midfielder signed a deal with the La Liga champions on Wednesday prior to Barca’s Copa del Rey tie with Sevilla.
De Jong, who was linked with Manchester and Paris Saint Germain – was said to be joining the latter but Barca chief Josep Maria Bartomeu stepped up his talks with Ajax bosses and negotiated a deal which will see the youngster arrive in the summer.
Following the news of the deal, claims have been made that Messi gave his approval to Bartomeu over the transfer.
Dutch coach Aad De Mos, a former boss of Ajax – spoke to HLN about the deal and said that Messi is a fond admirer of the Netherlands international.
“The football that Barcelona play suits De Jong. Combining in the short space is entirely De Jong’s thing. When Frenkie has the ball, I sit on the edge of my seat. Then something unexpected can happen.
“While you and I see two football-playing solutions, De Jong sees three or four. That way he can surprisingly come out of the corner, and also important – he always plays deep, instead of in front.
“I heard that the big boss – Messi – wanted De Jong to join so very much. Then you know that Barcelona will make an effort.”
Barca have been fairly active in the January transfer window thus far, completing a move for Toulouse defender Jean-Clair Todibo, who will arrive in the summer and sealing the loan of Kevin-Prince Boateng.
Exits have also happened this month with Munir El Haddadi leaving for Sevilla and it is expected that Denis Suarez will join Premier League side Arsenal on loan before the transfer window closes at the end of the month.