Barcelona are on the verge of completing the signing of Frenkie de Jong from Ajax, as the Dutch midfielder has reportedly agreed a five-year contract at the Nou Camp.
The highly talented 21-year-old has been linked to a host of top European clubs, including Bayern Munich and Manchester City, but Barcelona have moved quickly to steal a march on their rivals.
Frenkie de Jong in the Eredivisie this season:— Squawka Football (@Squawka) 25 December 2018
• 1201 minutes
• 1202 passes
Always keeping things ticking. pic.twitter.com/XopXTz6O48
Fox Sports Asia reports that the fee is still unknown. Ajax wanted €75m for De Jong but Barcelona were confident of getting their man for €60m. If push comes to shove, they would probably be prepared to stump up the extra €15m for their top target.
This comes as an enormous blow to Ajax, who had hoped to hold on to De Jong until the end of the season after reaching the knockout stages of the Champions League for the first time since 2006.
Director of football Marc Overmars had repeatedly said that the club's top players would not be sold in January, but a fee of €75m would be almost double their current transfer record - too good to turn down.
Questions will now be asked about De Jong's Ajax teammate, friend and fellow Dutch international Matthijs de Ligt. He has also been strongly tipped for a lucrative transfer and there were rumours that he and De Jong could move together as a package deal.
It will also be interesting to see if Barcelona now drop their interest in Paris Saint-Germain's Adrien Rabiot. They have made an official approach for the Frenchman, whose contract expires next summer, but he plays in a similar position to De Jong.