Barcelona have reached a deal with Ajax over young midfielder Frenkie De Jong. A deal that depends on how Erik ten Hag's team do in the Champions League qualifiers.
Ajax want De Jong to stay at the Johan Cruyff Arena. However they also know Barcelona have decided to sign him. For his part, Frenkie is committed to Ajax but knows he can take a step forward in his career by joining Barca and would love to play with Leo Messi.
The Dutch side's director Marc Overmars has accepted a proposal from Barcelona: they will be willing to sell him this summer if they do not get into the Champions League. And if they do, then they will discuss a sale ahead of next season, not this one.
Overmars made it clear that Ajax's priority is to get into the Champions League and he will not accept anything that changes the focus before that. If he gets into that competition he wants De Jong to stay so they can go as far as possible.
Obviously Barcelona have to accept this. De Jong has a contract until June 30, 2022.
IN THE HANDS OF STANDARD?
Ajax drew 2-2 with Standard Liege in the first leg of the third round of Champions League qualifiers. If they get through the second leg, they will play Slavia Prague or Dyamo Kiev in the play-offs. In any case, BArcelona know they have to prepare a 50m offer to sign a player with huge potential, but who would also be ready to step in when Sergio Busquets needs a rest.
ECONOMICS, A KEY FACTOR
De Jong is a fixture in the team. However both the coach and Overmars are feeling pressure from club executives when it comes to finance. They have sold just Justin Kluivert, while signing various players at high cost - including Daley Blind.
Ajax need to make some money - getting into the Champions League helps with that, but a sale of De Jong works too.