La Blaugrana failed with an approach for the Dutchman this summer, seeing a bid of €30million knocked back. Ajax sporting director Marc Overmars subsequently stated that no players would be sold this year given the club’s Champions League commitments and the belief that the young stars at the club would benefit from another year of being developed at home.
Barcelona have now reportedly set their sights on next summer as the time to land the 21-year-old, who has also been linked with moves to Real Madrid and Tottenham. The Premier League club also made a bid for De Jong this summer, believed to be €50million.
The La Liga champions are convinced that De Jong is a player who can be a future star at the Nou Camp, with the board unanimous in its belief that the Netherlands international is a perfect fit for Barcelona.
“Barca can allow other errors but not letting De Jong escape,” former sporting director Roberto Fernandez said.
Ex-Barcelona player Ronald Koeman gave De Jong his international debut recently, and was also quick to praise the youngster.
“He’s a debutant who plays like a veteran, with a lot of quality, he’s a great talent,” Koeman said.
An analysis of this summer’s transfers revealed that the Reds paid €8.7million more than Keita’s “fair price”, calculated at €61.3million.
However, that was a far cry from the biggest overspend in the CIES list. That honour was reserved for Chelsea‘s €80milllion capture of goalkeeper Kepa Arrizabalaga from Athletic Club Bilbao, a price that the observatory said was €44.7million more than the player’s value, pegged at €35.3million.
In comparison, Keita’s transfer barely cracked the top 20, coming in at N0 19 in CIES’ most over-priced players list.
The top five included Manchester City paying Leicester City a reported €85million for Riyad Mahrez, Paris Saint-Germain‘s €37million signing of Thilo Kehrer from Schalke, Everton spending €31.8million to lure defender Yerry Mina from Barcelona, and Napoli landing Alex Meret from Udinese for €25million.
On the other hand, Liverpool’s €72.5million signing of goalkeeper Alisson Becker from Roma was viewed as a good value-for-money deal, given CIES’ fair price for the Brazilian is €79.3million.
Real Madrid topped that list with their signing of Chelsea goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois for a relatively paltry €40million, with the Belgian being valued at €62.6million. Of course, that Courtois was in the final year of his contract paid a part in Los Blancos pulling off the below-value signing.
Liverpool made the top five in that list by signing Fabinho from Monaco for €55million, with the midfielder being valued at €73.8million. The Fabinho signing came in behind Madrid’s capture of Courtois, Atletico Madrid getting midfielder Rodri from Valencia for just €25million, and Roma signing Bryan Cristante from Atalanta.
The top five was rounded out by the €35million transfer of defender Clement Lenglet from Sevilla to Barcelona. Coupled with the extra value they got from the sale of Mina, the La Liga champions certainly did good business in replenishing their centre-back corps.
“I had enquiries from PSG and Manchester United,’ Boateng said.
“I did not want just to get away from Bayern, but I was thrilled to try a new challenge.
“I feel well at Bayern. It’s one of the biggest clubs in the world.”
Boateng confirmed that he spoke to United manager Jose Mourinho personally over a potential move.
“I called Jose Mourinho, I told him that his interest was an honor for me and thanked him for trying so hard for me.
“I explained to Jose that it’s difficult to leave Bayern, and if I do, everything has to be in place to top this club.”