Dutch coach Aad de Mos has claimed that Lionel Messi played a role in Barcelona's decision to sign Ajax midfielder Frenkie de Jong.
A number of top European clubs have held an interest in De Jong over the past 12 months, but Barcelona announced on Wednesday that they had won the race for the player's signature.
Experienced Dutch coach De Mos - a former manager of Ajax - has been speaking about the deal, and has suggested that Messi approved the completion of the transfer.
The 71-year-old told HLN: "The football that Barcelona play suits De Jong. Combining in the short space is entirely De Jong's thing. When Frenkie has the ball, I sit on the edge of my seat. Then something unexpected can happen.
"While you and I see two football-playing solutions, De Jong sees three or four. That way he can surprisingly come out of the corner, and also important – he always plays deep, instead of in front.
"I heard that the big boss – Messi – wanted De Jong to join so very much. Then you know that Barcelona will make an effort."
De Jong will remain at Ajax for the rest of the season before moving to Camp Nou in the summer.body check tags ::