New Barcelona signing Frenkie de Jong has revealed he was tempted to join Tottenham last summer.
The 21-year-old midfielder will officially join Barcelona from current club Ajax on July 1 in a deal worth £65m.
But De Jong, who signed a five-year deal with the Catalan giants, has admitted he was nearly lured to the Premier League by Mauricio Pochettino.
“I considered their [Tottenham] offer long and hard. I see Tottenham as a very stable club, and they are only getting better,” he told FourFourTwo.
“They give young players a chance and I see Mauricio Pochettino as a manager who really improves young players. I like the kind of football they are playing. I think it would have suited my game.”
But De Jong says he eventually decided against a move to Tottenham out of loyalty to Ajax, believing he still owed the Dutch club a further season.
“The moment wasn’t right,” he added. “I wasn’t finished at Ajax, as I hadn’t yet played a full season in my own position.
“I was also injured in that period, so I was thinking, ‘Not yet’. I felt I should stay for another year at Ajax, or perhaps longer.”
De Jong originally broke through the youth ranks at Willem II and joined Ajax for £260,000 in the summer of 2015, but was loaned back to his first club for one season.
He then went on to spend one year in Ajax’s youth side before being promoted to the first team towards the end of the 2016/17 season.
De Jong, capped seven times by the Netherlands, has since featured 77 times for Ajax, scoring on five occasions.