The highly-rated youngster chose the Catalans after viewing WhatsApp messages where Neymar revealed regret for
The months of speculation on his future and his eventual destination, the Dutchman sealed a transfer to Catalonia earlier this week for an initial fee of £65 million. Barcelona had to overcome stiff competition from Paris Saint-Germain and Tottenham to snap up the midfielder. De Jong’s initial contract lasts five years, and he will spend the rest of the season with Ajax before joining up with his new team-mates in the summer.
It was a saga at times when it came to signing up the 21-year-old, with each prospect club trying to convince him the best reason for joining them, and Neymar inadvertently played a part in helping the starlet decide where his future lay. De Jong was shown messages from the Brazilian superstar to Barca’s officials complaining about the low competitiveness of the league and the rough treatment he was receiving from the players in Ligue 1.
The messages also apparently revealed that Neymar did not like the weather as compared to Spain, further suggesting that he felt he had made a mistake by leaving Barcelona. After receiving this information, and also holding discussions with the club, De Jong made his mind up to join the La Liga giants.
And the Dutch international was elated to sign for the club he had supported as a child. “I rang Maxwell (PSG sporting coordinator) to tell him I was not joining them and my agent informed PSG,” he said.
“I also spoke with (Pep) Guardiola about a move to Man City. Clubs all try to convince you when they want you. I am happy and proud that they did so much to get me. I am happy, proud and also somewhat relieved that it’s now all behind us. Barcelona have always been a dream club for me. I already watched Barcelona as a kid and then when I was a bit more aware of the game when you had the Guardiola era with all their successes. That turned me into an even bigger fan.”
De Jong’s first game for Ajax after the news broke out did not end well, with the Eredevisie giants hammered 6-2 by Feyenoord.
Neymar playing an inadvertent role in stopping such a huge signing for PSG just adds to the growing sense of disillusionment and dissatisfaction on his behalf right now, and epitomises his current situation with the club. It seems only a matter of time before the costliest player in the worlds seals a move away from the French champions as soon as possible.