Barcelona were able to pip Paris Saint-Germain to the signature of Netherlands and Ajax hot-shot Frenkie De Jong and it’s emerged that Nike had a lot to do with it.
Both clubs have been tied to the American sportswear giant for quite some time, with PSG even having a lucrative agreement with the Jordan sub-brand for their Champions League fixtures.
But Nike’s relationship with Barcelona, which has existed since 1998, was a key factor in De Jong making the switch to the Blaugrana.
The classy midfielder is a Nike athlete and according to ESPN, Nike are to cover a large amount of during his time at the Nou Camp.
Sources told ESPN that Nike are not paying anything towards the £65 million fee Barcelona splashed out to land De Jong but are contributing very important amount of money in other ways.
In 2016, the two parties extended their partnership, which sees Barcelona earn €105 million, or €160 million overall with bonus factored in, per year.
De Jong will join officially join Barcelona in the summer once the season with Ajax is completed and wants to wear the No.21 once again.
However, Nike have also asked for him to have his first name on the back of his sheer for marketing reasons something De Jong isn’t too keen on.
In July, I sign my official contract in Barcelona and I am also being presented to the fans and the press,” he explained to Het Kontakt
Playing with 21 as a squad number would be nice because that is kind of my number. The selection for the new season is not yet known, so I’ll have to wait and see.
There is an idea to play with ‘Frenkie’ on the back of the shirt. Nike prefers that from the point of view of merchandising. I’m not sure if I want to.
De Jong, who will become the 20th Dutch player to play for Barcelona, has expressed his excitement over the chance of playing alongside the one and only Lionel Messi.
For me that will be very special,” De Jong said as per Metro.
Everyone knows that I think he’s the best. But it has not been a decisive factor. I also do not have to look at him as a kind of tourist. I’ll just be his teammate later.