Frenkie de Jong has confirmed that he will not be joining Barcelona this summer, after Ajax moved to within touching distance of the Champions League group stages.
The two clubs reportedly reached an agreement earlier this summer which would see De Jong join Barca in this transfer window, if Ajax failed to make it through all the qualifying rounds.
Entrevistei De Jong, pretendido pelo Barcelona, ao final do jogo do Ajax. Disse que o Barça seria um grande passo na carreira, mas que nesta temporada vai ficar na Holanda.— Marcelo Bechler (@marcelobechler) August 22, 2018
However, a 3-1 victory over Dynamo Kiev gave the Dutch side a strong advantage before next week's trip to the Ukraine, as they look to qualify for the Champions League group stages for the first time since 2014.
De Jong confirmed after the game that he would be staying in the Netherlands, seemingly regardless of the second leg result, although he did tell Marcelo Bechler of Esporte Interativo that "Barca would be a big step in my career."
Barcelona are still holding out hope that Ajax will be eliminated next week, which could leave them needing to sell De Jong in order to avoid falling foul of Financial Fair Play (FFP) restrictions.
It is still anticipated that De Jong will join Barcelona next year for a fee in the region of €50m. His current contract at the Amsterdam Arena runs until 2022 so Ajax are in a strong negotiating position when the time for selling comes.
De Jong is a versatile operator who is capable of playing in central midfield or defence. He contributed nine assists last season despite spending a large chunk of the campaign as a centre back.