Barcelona Pays £75 Million to Sign Frenkie de Jong

Barcelona has recently confirmed that the club will sign Frenkie de Jong from Ajax for an initial price tag of €75 million, beating Manchester City and Paris Saint-Germain to the highly regarded midfielder.

Ajax will receive an additional €11 million in add-ons should De Jong succeed at Barcelona, where he has inked a 5-year deal with Camp Nou that will take him up until the 2023/24 season. De Jong is going to stay at Ajax until the current season is completed before he makes his switch to Barcelona during the summer.

“De Jong is one of the most promising midfielders in Europe at the moment,” Barcelona stated recently. “At only 21 years of age, De Jong is set to join the Camp Nou club after he proved himself as an incredible multifunctional footballer that has the ability to offer killer passes and can read a game extremely well.”

The Pursuit for Frenkie de Jong

Barcelona’s pursuit for de Jong goes all the way back to 2016. Robert Fernandez, the former sporting director for Barcelona, has been admiring the Netherlands international for a long time and made two offers for him previously. However, Marc Overmars, the sporting director for Ajax, stated that they were not even close to the player’s true value.

After failing with both their offers, Barcelona decided to withhold their interests until the season came to an end. However, after PSG surfaced with their interest in de Jong, Barcelona had to act quickly. A delegation from Barcelona quickly made its way to Amsterdam as de Jong seemed like he was leaning towards the offer made by PSG. However, Barcelona decided to up their offer and provide frequent playing time as well which is something de Jong was concerned about the most.

Earlier this week, Barcelona still didn’t have a clue if their efforts were enough for de Jong to make the trip to Camp Nou and simply had to wait for the decision from de Jong, knowing that there was fierce competition for de Jong’s signature.

One club that wanted de Jong was Manchester City. However, although they were quite interested in transferring the player, they already realized that de Jong was very interested in Barcelona and they couldn’t match the bonuses or salary to successfully sign the player.

Later in the week, de Jong finally informed Barcelona that he would sign the contract. To avoid another Antoine Griezmann fiasco, Barcelona quickly made plans to get the contract drawn up and let de Jong sign it before any other football club could interfere.

De Jong’s Career

De Jong initially joined Ajax in 2015 from Willem II and successfully progressed through the academy of the club, making his initial debut in early 2017. He managed to win his first international cap last June for the Netherlands and established himself as a vital player for the Ajax squad. His new deal with Barcelona will certainly see the player improve even more at Camp Nou.

Wayne Rooney Makes Final England Appearance

Since the initial shock at the beginning of the month that Wayne Rooney might be making his last run for England, attention has centred around the country’s record goalscorer. How long would Rooney play for? Will he be wearing the captain’s armband during the match? And is it right that he received another cap? Let’s take a look at Wayne Rooney’s final appearance for England and answer all the questions in the process.

Pre-Match

“It’s been sensational having him around this week, providing those bits of glory,” Gareth Southgate stated before kick-off. Wayne Rooney clearly had a positive impact on Gareth’s young squad during training where he managed to present England shirts to three players who made their international debuts for the team on Thursday.

Wayne Rooney had to wait until the second half of the match to wear his England shift for the 120th time. However, prior to the start of the match, Rooney walked his sons through the prestigious guard of honour where he received some silverware from Greg Clarke and Henry Kane. There were more than 60,000 fans in the stands, and every single one was on their feet as Wayne saluted the massive crowd before the start of the National anthems.

The Cameo

Wayne Rooney was all jokes and smiles with Henry Kane during the game, and there was plenty for the 33-year-old football player to enjoy during the first half of the match as the new generation of players showed off their skills, including Trent Alexander-Arnold and Jadon Sancho. Rooney didn’t have to wait too long during the second half to be called by Southgate, allowing him to step onto the Wembley turf for the last time with just under an hour left on the clock.

Eric Dier and Jordan Henderson entered the match at the same time, but it was Rooney that got the fans up on their feet, chanting his name while passing the captain’s armband. Wayne Rooney took his place alongside Callum Wilson, and Sancho in England’s front three and immediately searched for the striker with a striving ball which was unfortunately cut out.

During the 69th minute, there was also an interruption where an over-eager fan managed to run up to Rooney to give him a hug. However, once the fan was escorted off the field, Rooney was back in the game where he received a pass from Sancho followed by a tame shot towards goal. He certainly didn’t see the ball as much as he wanted to, but every time he touched the ball it was pure quality. Rooney received his best chance for a goal during the 91st minute mark, but unfortunately, the low shot was too comfortable and central for the goalkeeper. Rooney obviously knew he should have done better and smiled.

Shortly thereafter, the full-time whistle blew which brought the end of Wayne Rooney’s international career which was the second time for the outstanding player. As he walked off the pitch, Rooney made jokes with the goalkeeper with handshakes and hugs all around while the crowd gave him an applause along with a pat on the back from Gareth Southgate.