Barcelona have been heavily linked with a move for youngster Frenkie de Jong from Ajax this summer, and reports claim that Lionel Messi is convinced a deal will be done.
The 21-year-old has made just 37 appearances for the senior side since making his breakthrough in 2016, but he seemingly boasts the characteristics to make him a perfect fit for the Catalan giants.
With his technical quality, vision and all-round midfield game, he could be an excellent long-term investment from Barcelona, and so the links certainly make sense.
As per Sport, the Dutchman has even left the door open to a future move to the Nou Camp after one failed to materialise this summer, as he conceded: “I wanted to play at Barça and maybe one day I will, but it won’t be this season”.
That’s the biggest indication yet that a move could happen in the future, and now Don Balon have gone a step further by suggesting that Messi is aware and confident that the youngster will be wearing a Barcelona shirt next summer as an agreement will be found.
The La Liga champions will seemingly have to think it through though, as having brought in Arthur and Arturo Vidal this summer, they also still have Sergio Busquets and Ivan Rakitic at coach Ernesto Valverde’s disposal.
With that in mind, it remains to be seen if adding De Jong will add too much immediate competition for places, although it’s worth considering too that Busquets, Rakitic and Vidal are all on the wrong side of 30 and so perhaps a long-term vision is needed now with the Ajax ace fitting the mould.
Time will tell if the signing goes through next summer as touted, but all the indications, even from the player himself, would suggest that it could be a matter of time as long as he continues to impress and develop this year.