Paris Saint-Germain offered Frenkie de Jong a 'blank cheque' in a late attempt to steal him from Barcelona. However, the Dutchman was not to be convinced.
After being chased by Manchester City as well as Barça and the Parisians, De Jong eventually opted for Catalonia, agreeing a deal worth up to €86m on 23 January to join up with his new squad this summer.
However, according to Mundo Deportivo, it appears the youngster made this decision in spite of being sent a 'blank cheque' with his name on it from the French champions. It is understood that this was sent on 23 January, just when De Jong and his representatives were finalising his deal with Barcelona.
During said finalisation period, the player's agent received no less than seven calls from Paris Saint-Germain executives, desperate to recover the deal they thought they'd sewn up just days before.
The Parisians had always fancied themselves as the frontrunners, and initially the 21-year-old was enamoured with moving to Paris, after being repeatedly told in meetings with the French side that La Liga champions had too many midfielders.
But when club president Josep Maria Bartomeu, alongside CEO Oscar Grau and general manager Pep Segura, solidified their interest with a meeting on January 17th, De Jong's decision was made.
He eventually signed a five-yeard deal with the club, for a fee of an initial €75m, though a series of add-ons will likely push the deal to €86m.
In an interview with NOS following the announcement of his imminent arrival in Spain, De Jong appeared to reject th business model of his two other suitors, declaring: "Barcelona have wanted me for a long time, they already tried to sign me last year. But they also have their financial situation, they can’t just spend loads of money."
“Barcelona have always been a dream club for me. The fact that they were so serious about getting me and that I have a good chance of getting playing time made the decision a bit easier.
"I already watched Barcelona as a kid and then when I was a bit more aware of the game you had the Guardiola era with all their successes. That turned me into an even bigger fan. I have always been a big fan of [Lionel] Messi, although I liked the entire team."