Ajax midfielder Frenkie de Jong admits he found talk of a possible move to Barcelona “fun” at first, but now considers the incessant transfer speculation to be “annoying”.
The 21-year-old is considered to be one of the most exciting prospects in Europe, with such potential inevitably registering on the radars of leading clubs across the continent.
Barca are considered to view the Netherlands international as a long-term successor to Andres Iniesta, with Goal having revealed their interest in doing a €30 million (£27m/$35m) deal over the summer.
Ajax made it clear at that point that they were under no financial pressure to sell and intended to retain the services of a number of academy graduates drawing admiring glances from afar.
Talk of a big-money move continues to simmer, though, with De Jong telling Elf Voetbal of the endless rounds of gossip: “In the beginning it was fun and I felt very flattered by the stories around Barcelona, but after a while the questions about it got annoying.
“For the time being, I just stay with Ajax, at least another year and maybe two or three more years. I’m really enjoying myself here.”
While De Jong claims to be happy in his homeland for now, he has previously aired his ambition to play alongside Barca icon Lionel Messi at some stage in the future.
He told Zippo Sport: “If you end up in a club of a higher level, you will play with world-class players anyway.
“But I would really like to play with Messi someday.
“Of course I would like to play with him. He’s already 31, so I have to hurry up.”
De Jong may not be the only Ajax starlet heading to Camp Nou in an upcoming window either, with the Catalan giants also said to have their sights set on Matthijs de Ligt.
He is considered to be an option to step into the shoes of Gerard Pique at centre-half, with Barca having to start planning for the future as ageing stars begin to head towards the latter stages of their respective careers.