Nike want Frenkie de Jong to have 'Frenkie' on the back of his Barcelona shirt

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Frenkie de Jong was one of the most sought-after players during the January transfer window.

The 21-year-old Dutchman is considered one of the hottest prospects in world football and was attracting interest from Barcelona, Paris Saint-Germain and Manchester City.

But Barca won the race, splashing £65 million on the midfielder, who will join at the end of the season.

While he may not arrive at the Camp Nou until the summer, that hasn’t stopped De Jong from talking about his future side.

He’s even suggested that he could stay at the club just like a certain Lionel Messi.

"I am happy with my five-year contract, and if I succeed, the chances are that I will never leave, just like [Lionel] Messi,” De Jong said, per AS.

Probably not the best idea to mention yourself in the same sentence as Messi just yet, mate.

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De Jong then turned his attention to his shirt number at the club.

In an ideal world, he wants to keep his number 21, currently belonging to Carles Alena.

However, he may not get a choice over what name is on the back of that shirt.

That’s because his sponsor, Nike, want him to change from ‘De Jong’ to ‘Frenkie’ for merchandising reasons.

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"In July I sign my official contract in Barcelona and I am also presented to the fans and the press," he said.

"We are also thinking about playing with Frenkie on the back of my shirt, which Nike prefers from a merchandising point of view, but I'm not sure I want it.

"Playing with 21 would be nice, because that is kind of my number, but the selection for the new season is not yet known, so I will have to wait."

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Now that’s interesting.

Who knew that sponsors could dictate what names appear on the back of certain players’ shirts?

To be fair, Nike no doubt will be paying De Jong a lot of money per year and are probably well within their rights to have their say.

Barca fans should probably hold off buying their ‘De Jong’ shirts for now…

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