Tottenham Hotspur look set to miss out on rumoured transfer target Frenkie de Jong admitted that he would relish a move to Barcelona.
The Ajax star has been heavily linked with a January transfer switch to Spurs and the midfielder has set his sights on playing alongside Lionel Messi.
Tottenham would have to break the bank to sign the 21-year-old, with Ajax said to be demanding €75million for the player who is a potential successor to Mousa Dembele.
While Dembele just has ten months left to run on his existing deal at Tottenham, Mauricio Pochettino needs to start planning for next season after failing to sign any players during the summer transfer window.
Spurs are rumoured to have offered €50m (£45million) for the former Ajax youth player ahead of a potential deal to bring him to the club in January, while Spanish news outlet Mundo Deportivo claimed that Barcelona failed with a bid to sign him in the summer.
De Jong told the Daily Express: “If you end up in a club of a higher level, you will play with world-class players anyway,
“But I would really like to play with Messi some day.
“We were on vacation in Spain and my grandfather bought me Messi’s shirt with the 30, his shirt number then.
“My grandfather knew that I liked Messi and I wore that shirt until I was small.
“Of course I would like to play with him. He’s already 31, so I have to hurry up.”
Whether Daniel Levy is prepared to back his manager in the January transfer window remains to be seen.
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