As per a report from ESPN, Nike played a key role in the eventual decision of Ajax star Frenkie de Jong to opt to join Barcelona over Paris Saint-Germain.
de Jong, a versatile 21-year-old central midfielder who can also play in defence, made the move to Ajax from fellow Eredivisie outfit Willem II in the summer of 2015.
After struggling for game-time during his first couple of seasons in Amsterdam, de Jong burst onto the scene last season, on his way to 22 league appearances.
The youngster even managed to chip in with a hugely-impressive 8 assists in the Eredivisie.
And the current campaign has only seen de Jong’s prominence in his home country grow stronger, with the gifted midfielder having played a starring role in Ajax’s 20 wins from 26 thus far in the league, as well as the club’s run to the quarter-finals of the Champions League.
Barcelona vs PSG
As such, news that the 21-year-old was being sought out by a number of European football’s biggest clubs over the last couple of months came as little surprise.
The hunt for the Dutch maestro’s signature came to a head in January, when Barcelona and PSG went head-to-head over de Jong.
In the end, it was the Blaugrana who won out, securing a hefty deal worth 75 million Euro (plus a potential 11 million in bonuses) which will see de Jong make the move to Catalunya in the summer.
Frenkie de Jong, announced.
Full story 👉 https://t.co/XRRql1NLyu #EnjoyDeJong
— FC Barcelona (@FCBarcelona) January 23, 2019
As per the aforementioned report from ESPN, though, Barca are said to have been massively aided in their pursuit and eventual signing of the Dutch maestro by sponsors Nike.
According to ESPN sources close to the Blaugrana, Nike, who sponsor both the La Liga champions and de Jong, ‘will pay a large amount of the midfielder’s salary’.
‘The sources said Nike was not contributing to the transfer fee but investing a “very important amount of money” in wages’, a gesture which played a ‘key role’ in de Jong opting for the Camp Nou.
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