Frenkie de Jong says he thought he would have played for Arsenal before joining Barcelona.
The Netherlands international was presented as a Barcelona player at the Nou Camp last week, after a deal was agreed between Ajax and the La Liga club in January.
De Jong earned the move after a breakthrough season at Ajax, where he was part of a side that won the Eredivisie title and reached the Champions League semi-finals.
“I actually thought Arsenal was pretty beautiful in the past,” he told Voetbal International.
“In my mind I have had the following list for a long time: Ajax-Arsenal-Barcelona, call it the Marc Overmars route.
“But yes, if you can go directly to Barcelona, then you are also right where you want to be. Faster than you ever dared to dream.”
De Jong joined Barcelona for a fee of £65m, with a further £9.5m in add-ons, and signed a five-year contract until the summer of 2024.