By 90Min
February 13, 2019

Ajax manager Erik ten Hag has revealed that Netherland international midfielder Frenkie de Jong has "extra motivation" ahead of their Champions League knockout stage match against Real Madrid.

The 21-year-old signed a deal with Barcelona worth €75m during the January transfer window but has remained in Amsterdam for the remainder of the season, insisting that he wants to help the club challenge for the Eredivisie title.

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Although De Jong isn't officially a Barcelona player just yet, Ajax boss Ten Hag claims that his star midfielder will have a point to prove against his future Clásico rivals.

"He is excited to play tomorrow, just like the rest of us," Ten Hag said, as quoted by Barca Blaugranes. "He will have extra motivation for it being Real Madrid, just like all of us.

"Frenkie only wants one thing and that is to end the season well with Ajax. He is motivated to give his best against Real Madrid."

Real Madrid are the clear favourites to go through in their last 16 matchup against Ajax, especially as Los Blancos have won four of the last five Champions League finals.

But Ajax proved during the group stages against European heavyweights Bayern Munich that they're not in the competition to make up the numbers, remaining undefeated across all six matches.

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In the league, Ajax are behind PSV Eindhoven at the top of the Eredivisie table, but they can cut that gap in half next month when they host Mark van Bommel's side at the Amsterdam Arena.

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