Barcelona Transfer News: Arsenal target £50m Barca player; Valverde attacks Guardiola over transfer; Surprising Neymar connection in de Jong transfer, and more - 27th January 2019
Barcelona travel to Girona in their La Liga game this Sunday, hoping to regain their five-point lead over Atletico Madrid, who won against Getafe 2-0, on Saturday.
There's be more interesting developments in this January transfer window as the Catalans look to strengthen their squad.
Let's take a look at the key Barcelona transfer news and rumours of the day:
#1 De Jong on his Barca move, Messi's role in the transfer
Barcelona have invested heavily in this January transfer window, with the signing of Dutch midfielder Frenkie de Jong for a fee of around €75m, taking up a chunk of their transfer budget.
The 21-year-old was linked with a number of clubs, including PSG and Manchester City, but he revealed how and why he chose the Spanish giants in a recent interview.
"I rang Maxwell [PSG sporting coordinator] to tell him I was not joining them and my agent informed PSG. I also spoke with Guardiola about a move to Man City. Clubs all try to convince you when they want you.
"I am happy and proud that they did so much to get me. I am happy, proud and also somewhat relieved that it's now all behind us. Barcelona have always been a dream club for me. I already watched Barcelona as a kid and then when I was a bit more aware of the game when you had the Guardiola era with all their successes. That turned me into an even bigger fan," said de Jong.
de Jong's father also revealed that Lionel Messi personally called him and convinced the youngster to join him in Barcelona.
#2 Valverde criticises Guardiola
Guardiola's tapping up of de Jong before his switch to Barcelona has angered Barcelona manager Ernesto Valverde, who said that talking to another team's player is not right.
“Talking to a player who is under contract with another team is something that can’t be done. You can’t talk to a player who is under contract and that’s something that isn’t in my personal code but suffice to say, everyone has their own way of acting," said Valverde.