The nine-cap international, who attracted interest from a host of top European clubs, including Manchester City and Paris Saint-Germain, said he’d always been a fan of Barcelona but said he’d also admired the Gunners.
“The football that [Barcelona] has been playing for years, the players that have been here, that still are here… Xavi, Iniesta, Busquets, I watched that midfield” he continued.
“And then there is Lionel Messi, the very best in the world, my idol.
“Camp Nou, the stadium. Add that all together and it’s not so complicated that many young boys choose Barcelona or Real Madrid as their favourite club.
“So did I, although I actually thought Arsenal was pretty beautiful in the past.”
The north London outfit is in need of reinforcements in midfield after Aaron Ramsey was allowed to leave on a free transfer to Serie A champions Juventus at the end of last season.
Unai Emery’s team are operating on a reduced budget, believed to be £45 million ($56m), and may have been out of the race for De Jong’s signature as a result.
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