Transfer Blow For Manchester City As Top Target Chooses Barcelona
There haven't been too many bad weeks for Manchester City for a while.
But after Christmas defeats to Crystal Palace and Leicester City they've lost their grip at the top of the Premier League with Liverpool taking full advantage.
The talented Ajax playmaker, rated as one of the best young players in Europe, was strongly linked with a move to PSG earlier in the month but he was quick to deny that a deal had been done.
Barca are willing to pay €60million for de Jong who has made no secret of his wish to play in Catalonia. Ajax are holding out for €75million but reports say they are likely to accept the deal currently on the table.
De Jong's future has been the subject of much speculation since the summer but Ajax were always adamant that the player would stay until next summer. The player's agent has met with representatives of PSG, City and Bayern Munich this year who apparently all offered better terms than Barca. But de Jong is tempted by the honour of playing for the club where Ajax legend Johan Cruyff is still held up as one of the fathers of Barcelona.
While well blessed with attacking options at the Camp Nou, Barcelona have made no secret of the fact that they are looking to replace Luis Suarez and serious questions remain about the effectiveness of Philippe Coutinho despite a recent upturn in form.