That is according to Spanish source Mundo Deportivo (MD), who report that the Primera Division giants made an offer for the starlet this summer, only to be turned down by both the player and the club.
MD claim that the offer was significantly higher than the €17.2m fee AS Roma paid the Netherlands outfit for Justin Kluivert, yet Ajax were simply uninterested in selling. The player himself was happy to remain in the Netherlands after reaching the Champions League group stages.
However, in spite of the club’s intransigence over their midfield star, they could be ready to let him go next summer.
“Maybe someday I’ll join Barcelona, but not this season,” De Jong told reporters last month.
Barcelona are reported to have grown even more desperate to secure De Jong’s signing after learning of interest from Premier League side Tottenham Hotspur. The London club also had a sizeable bid rejected by Ajax over the summer and are possibly looking to return for him in a subsequent window.
Mauricio Pochettino’s side created Premier League history by failing to sign a single player during the last window. But, as the Spanish report would have it, it was not for the want of trying, with the club understood to have tabled a €50m offer for the 21-year-old.
Their bid was met with the same response Barça got, but both clubs are still thought to be intent on getting the player on their books in the future.