Barcelona have contacted Ajax in an attempt to begin negotiations over a deal for their young midfielder Frankie de Jong, reports in Spain have suggested.
De Jong, 21, has long been on Barca’s shortlist as they look to preserve their future with the recruitment of some young blood.
Spanish newspaper Mundo Deportivo has reported that the club’s directors made contact with their Dutch counterparts on Monday but Ajax are standing their ground.
Mundo Deportivo reports Barcelona have made contact with Ajax regarding Frankie de Jong
The report suggests that Barca have been tracking the youngster for several months and while Ajax are reluctant to part ways with their budding young star De Jong, they may have no choice should Barca make a tempting offer.
The 2017 Europa League finalists are yet to name an asking price for De Jong, whose contract expires in 2022, making clear that they intend to keep hold of him this summer.
Their stance is also understandable given the departure of another young talent in Justin Kluivert to Roma for around £16million.
Barca are hoping to sign De Jong this summer but Ajax are reluctant to sell him at any price
Barcelona are a tad lighter than usual in the midfield after the departure of club legend Andres Iniesta at the end of last season, who will complete his move to Japanese Club Vissel Kobe on July 1.
While De Jong, who made 22 Eredivisie appearances for Ajax last season, would not quite fill the boots left behind by Iniesta, he has shown the potential to be a first-team regular for the Catalan side and could find an offer too tempting to resist.
Despite his current value unspecified by his employers, Barca are keen to make a move this summer to avoid any price inflation should De Jong push on from the strong foundations he has built thus far.