Real Madrid will target Ajax midfielder Frenkie De Jong with a huge offer in January in an attempt to oust La Liga rivals Barcelona.
According to Don Balon, Los Blancos officials will table a €80 million bid for the 21-year-old when the transfer window re-opens, which could fight off interest from Barca and Manchester United.
The Dutchman is one of the hottest properties in European football right now, standing out in the Eredivisie with his superb technical ability and expert reading of the game in the middle of the park.
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Ajax are currently second in their domestic league, five points behind PSV Eindhoven, who have won all eight of their fixtures at the start of the 2018-19 campaign.
On the European front, Erik ten Hag’s men are top of their Champions League group after two games ahead of Bayern Munich, who they drew 1-1 against at the Allianz Arena on October 2nd.
De Jong has been a fixture in the starting XI in all competitions this season and continues to impress with his displays, which is only increasing speculation regarding his future.
Madrid could do with some youthful energy in midfield after a stuttering start to their latest La Liga campaign and the young Netherlands international could be exactly the right man to bolster manager Julen Lopetegui’s squad.
However, the Manchester Evening News reports that De Jong recently admitted he would love to play for Barcelona in the future, as he told reporters: “If you end up in a club of a higher level, you will play with world-class players anyway.
“But I would really like to play with Messi someday.
“Of course, I would like to play with him. He’s already 31, so I have to hurry up.”
Despite those comments, Madrid have the financial power and global status to launch a successful bid for any player in Europe and De Jong might find it difficult to resist if they do indeed come calling after Christmas.