Barcelona midfielder Frenkie de Jong reveals he thought about signing for Arsenal before earning his dream move to Camp Nou.
De Jong enjoyed a standout 2018/19 campaign with Ajax after completing a €72m deal to join Barça in January.
However, things could have been very different for the 22-year-old who originally planned to emulate the career of Marc Overmars.
“In my mind, I have had the following list for a long time: Ajax-Arsenal-Barcelona, call it the Marc Overmars route,” he told Voetbal International.
“I actually thought Arsenal was pretty beautiful the past. But yes, if you can go directly to Barcelona, then you are right where you want to be.”
“The football that Barcelona play, the players that have been here, that still are here… Xavi, Iniesta, Busquets, I watched that midfield,” the Dutch international added.
“And then there is Lionel Messi, the very best in the world, my idol. Camp Nou, the stadium.
“Add that all together and it’s not complicated why many young boys choose Barcelona or Real Madrid as their favourite club.”
Arsenal would have been well out of the race to sign De Jong this summer anyway, and are believed to be operating on a reduced budget of €50m.