Barcelona enjoyed a successful campaign under Ernesto Valverde last season, and reports claim that they could be looking to add long-term quality to their squad.
The Catalan giants completed a domestic double with the La Liga title and Copa del Rey, although they did fall short in the Champions League in disappointing fashion.
Nevertheless, it was a solid start for Valverde on the Barcelona bench, but with a number of his midfield options approaching or already on the wrong side of 30, namely the likes of Sergio Busquets, Ivan Rakitic and Paulinho, he may well need long-term options sooner rather than later.
That’s not to suggest that those star players don’t have plenty left in the tank, but as noted by Mundo Deportivo, Barca are already pushing ahead with transfer plans to bolster their midfield after meeting with the agent of Ajax starlet Frenkie de Jong.
It’s claimed that the La Liga champions wish to secure an agreement to ensure that the Dutch youngster joins them, albeit the possibility of him remaining at Ajax for another year is still on the table.
That seems like a very sensible transfer strategy, as it would protect Barca’s position and ensure that a deal is in place, while it would also allow De Jong to continue to play regularly in his homeland to continue to gain experience, improve his all-round game and mature as a player.
In turn, he could arrive as a better player for it at the Nou Camp next summer, and Barcelona would have a player capable of stepping in and making an immediate impact.
De Jong, 21, bagged nine assists and a goal in 26 appearances for Ajax last season, prior to an injury cutting his campaign short in March. Barca seemingly saw enough to be convinced, as he displayed plenty of technical quality and creative class to suggest he can fit in and so it remains to be seen if a deal can be struck.