Frenkie de Jong admits he would like to see former Ajax team-mate Matthijs de Ligt join him at Barcelona this summer.
Barcelona finally presented De Jong to the media on Friday after reaching a €75m deal with Ajax back in January.
The Netherlands international is already relishing the fact he can call his idol Lionel Messi a team-mate. But it turns out he is still harbouring hopes of being able to count De Ligt as a colleague, with the 19-year-old yet to announce his future plans.
Although De Jong has every reason to remain cautious given that Juventus have leapfrogged Barcelona as favourites to sign De Ligt.
Latest reports have indicated the Serie A champions have lodged a bid in the region of €64m to Ajax. However, the Dutch giants will likely turn it down given that they value De Ligt at around €71m.
“I expected you to ask me about De Ligt,” said De Jong, according to Evening Standard.
“I would be very happy to see him here, but it’s not my choice. He has to decide, with his family, what is best for him.”
Nonetheless, a decision appears to have been made by De Ligt given Barcelona president Josep Bartomeu’s comments at De Jong’s presentation.
“I have known where De Ligt will play [next season] for a long time. I still know but I cannot say anything else,” said Bartomeu.
Much like De Ligt, numerous offers had come De Jong’s way before he ultimately decided to sign for Barcelona in January. Among the interested clubs in him were Paris Saint-Germain and Manchester City.
However, the 22-year-old’s heart was always set on fulfilling his dream of playing at Camp Nou.
“It was always a dream for me to play for Barca,” said De Jong.
“When they came and spoke to me, the decision was easy. There were several clubs interested, but when I spoke to them, it was easy to decide.”
Despite his young age, De Jong has already built himself a glowering reputation in Europe following his standout displays in midfield for both Ajax and Holland.
But breaking into Barcelona’s star-studded midfield, which represents the likes of Ivan Rakitic and Sergio Busquets, will be an entirely different challenge for the Dutch youngster.
When asked on his role in the team, De Jong replied: “I see myself in midfield.
“But I don’t mind if it is as a holding midfielder or as an attacking player. I just want to be in the starting XI. The best in the world are here and I’m here to fight for a place in this great team.”