Manchester City Risk Losing Out To Barcelona And Manchester United As Race To Sign Ajax Star Hots Up
Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola has stated that the club won't be buying any new players in January, which could open the door for Barcelona or Manchester United to win the race to sign Ajax's Frenkie De Jong.
The Dutch starlet has been a long-time target of City's and has been linked with moves to the likes of Barca, United and Tottenham in the past. It had long been assumed that City, and their seemingly bottomless pockets of money, would ultimately get their man but Guardiola's statement appears to have made things very interesting.
Talking ahead of City's Premier League clash with West Ham on Saturday, Guardiola said:
We are not going to spend anything [during the upcoming transfer window]. I am so happy with the squad, and people are coming back, so no, no.
When we created the squad at the beginning of the season, it was not to go to the January unless we have problems. But I have a deep squad, and a lot of players cannot play even though I trust them a lot.
They believe I don’t like them but that is not true. I trust a lot in all the players, all of them. It’s a joy to be with them but it is what it is. When there are some injuries, another one is going to play. If they cannot play, you have a few players in the academy that maybe are going to help us.
De Jong is likely to be one of the most sought after players in Europe during the next few months as the 21-year-old has made a fine impression during his brief career to date. The Dutch midfielder has scored four goals and laid on nine assists in 56 senior appearances for Ajax.
It had been expected that De Jong will leave Ajax, either during the upcoming transfer window or next summer, and City have led the race for some time. Their decision to not push for a signing in January shows their confidence or perhaps they know a deal will be struck in the summer.
Either way, Barcelona, Manchester United and Tottenham will be watching with great interest as a new transfer window approaches.