Ajax midfielder Frenkie De Jong has revealed he rejected an offer to join Tottenham Hotspur last summer, saying ‘the moment wasn’t right’.
Speaking to FourFourTwo magazine, De Jong added that he believes Spurs’ style of play would have suited his game.
The 21-year-old, who prefers to operate in a central midfield role, made his first-team breakthrough for the Dutch Giants just last season but was forced to play at centre-back due to the club’s injury problems.
This time around he has been able to express himself further up the pitch, scoring three goals and providing two assists in 24 Eredivisie appearances.
His abilities attracted attention from a number of Europe’s elite last year, with Manchester City and Paris Saint Germain joining Spurs in the race for his signature.
However, the seven-cap Dutch international opted to remain in his home country in a bid to help guide Ajax to a league title, and they currently sit 2nd in the table, two points behind PSV Eindhoven.
De Jong has now agreed a deal to join Ernesto Valverde’s Barcelona come the end of the season in a deal believed to be worth up to €86m.
On the interest from Mauricio Pochettino’s side, the youngster said:
The moment wasn’t right. I wasn’t finished at Ajax, as I hadn’t yet played a full season in my own position. I was also injured in that period, so I was thinking, ‘Not yet’. I felt I should stay for another year at Ajax, or perhaps longer. I considered their [Spurs’] offer long and hard. I see Tottenham as a very stable club, and they are only getting better. They give young players a chance and I see Mauricio Pochettino as a manager who really improves young players. I like the kind of football they are playing. I think it would have suited my game.