Arsenal have been linked with midfielders: could Barcelona star Frenkie de Jong suggesting he wants to imitate a former Gunner mean a move is on the cards?
Arsenal is somewhere that Frenkie de Jong could see himself playing – according to the man himself.
The Barcelona midfielder has been heavily linked with Manchester United in recent weeks, following the Red Devils appointing De Jong’s former manager at Ajax, Erik ten Hag. United are looking for new options in the centre of the park and with Barça reportedly close to bringing in Valencia star Carlos Soler, someone might be leaving soon.
But according to De Jong himself, he likes Arsenal – and always considered a move to the Emirates Stadium to imitate a Dutch legend of yesteryear.
“I actually thought Arsenal was pretty beautiful in the past.” De Jong told Voetbal International in 2019. “In my mind, I have had the following list for a long time – Ajax, Arsenal, Barcelona. Call it the Marc Overmars route.”
De Jong eventually signed for the Catalan side instead of Arsenal back then. Manchester City, Paris Saint-Germain and others were said to be interested when the midfielder originally left the Eredivisie but with the opportunity for a transfer arising again this summer, the Gunners may well be in the mix.
Mikel Arteta needs another midfielder to provide depth in his 4-3-3 and De Jong feels tailormade for an interior role. North London has a proud history of great Dutchmen beyond Overmars, too, with Dennis Bergkamp and Robin van Persie both having played in N5.
De Jong faces an uncertain time at Camp Nou with manager Xavi looking to bring in new blood this summer. The likes of Franck Kessie has been touted to arrive on a free transfer, while La Masia product and contract rebel Gavi is thought to be close to leaving – with the club desperate to tie him down for longer.
The 24-year-old is valued at £63 million by Transfermarkt.