AFC Ajax midfielder Frenkie de Jong has revealed that he turned down the chance to join Tottenham Hotspur ahead of the current season.
The 21-year-old, who has agreed a big-money deal to join Spanish champions Barcelona at the end of the 2018/19 campaign, could have made an even earlier move to one of Europe’s biggest leagues.
De Jong claims that Spurs were keen on securing his services in the summer transfer window of 2018, but he decided that another season’s worth of experience in Amsterdam was a better career move.
"The moment wasn't right. I wasn't finished at Ajax, as I hadn't yet played a full season in my own position. I was also injured in that period, so I was thinking, 'Not yet'. I felt I should stay for another year at Ajax, or perhaps longer," De Jong told FourFourTwo.
"I considered their [Spurs'] offer long and hard. I see Tottenham as a very stable club, and they are only getting better. They give young players a chance and I see Mauricio Pochettino as a manager who really improves young players. I like the kind of football they are playing. I think it would have suited my game."
You can see de Jong and his Ajax teammates in action when they face Willem II in an Eredivisie clash on the evening of Saturday 6 April.
Fox Sports 1 will have live coverage from 18h20 CAT.