Valverde on Guardiola: Barcelona secured the signing of Frenkie de Jong from Ajax earlier this month.
De Jong was linked with a number of clubs, including Paris Saint Germain and Manchester City.
Before his transfer to Barcelona, the Ajax midfielder admitted that he has had talks with Pep Guardiola over a potential move to the Premier League.
“I spoke with Paris Saint-Germain and I also spoke with Guardiola about signing for Manchester City, they all want to convince you when they love you, I am happy and proud that they loved me, but I decided to sign for Barcelona,” De Jong said.
However, Ernesto Valverde has now criticised Pep Guardiola for holding talks with De Jong while he was still under contract at Ajax.
Valverde on Guardiola:
The Barcelona manager criticised Guardiola for his way of pursuing Frenkie De Jong for a transfer.
“Talking with a player that is under contract with another club is something that can’t be done,” Valverde said.
DeJong’s father has revealed that Leo Messi personally called his son to convince him to join Barcelona.
“Lionel Messi called Frenkie but it was difficult because Messi can barely speak English” pic.twitter.com/u4ZeU0zkwv
— totalBarça (@totalBarca) January 26, 2019
Oh it’s even better. Guardiola tapped up De Jong and he still wouldn’t join
So in summary Man City have been outspent and couldn’t convince De Jong to join in despite illegal approaches 🍿
Anyone has a fresh Pep take? I need to be entertained https://t.co/BbRdAwkd4S
— Sébastíen (@SebC__) January 27, 2019
“Doing something like that is not in my personal code, however, it is true that everyone has their own way of acting in these situations.”
While De Jong admitted that he held a conversation with the Man City manager, he also stated that he became a big fan of Barcelona after watching Guardiola’s Barcelona side.
“I saw Barcelona as a child and then, when I was a little more aware of the game, I followed the Guardiola era with all his successes, that still made me a biggest fan,” said De Jong.
Valverde, meanwhile, also added that the Ajax star will need to adapt to the Barca style of play.
🗣️ [@Palomo_ESPN] | Frankie de Jong’s father reveals that Messi called him to convince him to go to Barça. Before Jong said that Guardiola and Tuchel called him. Football still belongs to football players. pic.twitter.com/HGC9oD0hog
— BarçaTimes (@BarcaTimes) January 26, 2019
Pep Guardiola: “Frenkie de Jong? It’s impossible for us to compete with clubs like Barcelona. Then we are talking about prestige, the amazing competition and how incredibly big they are as a club.” [bbc] pic.twitter.com/TXZU8p910q
— Barça Universal (@BarcaUniversal) January 26, 2019
“Everything is dependent on De Jong, and how he performs. He will need to adapt, despite coming from a club with a similar philosophy to Barcelona.
“He is young, and that needs to be taken into account, but we are always looking to bring in players that can improve us.”