Frenkie de Jong has admitted he considered making a switch to the Premier League before joining Barcelona.
The 22-year-old shot to prominence last season as part of the Ajax side which reached the Champions League semi-finals.
Before the thriller against Tottenham Hotspur in Amsterdam however, De Jong’s future was already confirmed after Barca completed the £67million signing of the midfielder in January 2019 – immediately loaning him back to the Eredivisie side for the remainder of the season.
But the Netherlands international admitted he would have joined Paris Saint-Germain or Manchester City had a move to the Nou Camp not materialised.
And while both sides carry tremendous financial clout, De Jong is adamant the playing style of prospective suitors was always more important than monetary gain.
“If it had not been Barca, I find it hard to say it now, it would have been PSG or City,” De Jong told El Periodico .
Asked whether PSG or City could have offered him more money than Barca, De Jong replied: “It is not right to talk about [money].
“Money was not my business. Money was never discussed in the meeting room with me. It was a matter for my agent.
“The most important thing was the way [Barcelona] played and how they saw me, what plans they had for me.
“When [Barcelona] told me they saw me playing here, that they thought about this and that, then they really convinced me.
“I talked with my family and my agent and we chose Barca. Then my agent came here to negotiate.”
The youngster’s agent told a Swedish news outlet that the Blaugrana were so happy they beat their European rivals to the signature of his client, they broke down in tears.
“The sports officials of Barcelona were so relieved that then general sports manager Pep Segura began to cry as soon as the documents were written,” agent Hasan Cetinkaya told Aftonbladet.
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“They had tremendous pressure to close the agreement. There were hugs and champagne and then we all went to a restaurant in the mountains to which Barcelona invited us.
“We drank the best wine from Spain, we ate a fantastic steak and everyone laughed and was happy.”