Barcelona is apparently willing to let Frenkie de Jong depart in the summer, as incoming Manchester United boss Erik ten Hag plans a bid for the midfielder.
Ten Hag is reportedly interested in recruiting the 24-year-old, who has made 136 appearances for Barcelona since joining Ajax in 2019. During that time, he won the Copa del Rey and been named their Players’ Player of the Year.
Nemanja Matic has already confirmed his departure from the Red Devils at the end of the season, and Paul Pogba’s contract is likely to expire in the summer, leaving them with a significant gap in midfield. United is trying to bolster their roster by bringing in at least two players in that position.
Declan Rice of West Ham United and Kalvin Phillips of Leeds United have both been linked with moves to Old Trafford in recent months. The duo performed admirably for England at Euro 2020, appearing in all seven games en route to the tournament’s final.
Despite claiming a desire for a new challenge, David Moyes is keen on retaining Rice at the club, while Leeds are trying to tie Phillips down to a new contract before his current agreement expires in 2024. United may find it difficult to persuade the pair to join them if they miss out on Champions League football.
Ten Hag, who is anticipated to apply his possession-based, offensive style on the team, may prefer to acquire someone who is already familiar with his system. De Jong was a member of the Ajax team that reached the Champions League semi-finals in 2018/19, eventually losing to Tottenham Hotspur.
According to the Spanish television show El Chiringuito, Ten Hag will investigate the idea of moving De Jong to United, and Barcelona will not refuse any approach. After flourishing under Ronald Koeman last season, he has struggled for form this season.
Pedri and Gavi, both teenagers, are ahead of the £65 million men in the pecking order, while Sergio Busquets, 33, remains a mainstay in the side just ahead of the back four. Due to Xavi’s adoption of a 4-3-3 formation, De Jong’s minutes have been limited due to the performances of other players.
According to the source, Barcelona has set an asking price of £58 million, representing a modest loss on the fee they paid just three years ago. However, if the Catalan giants want to recruit more players this summer, they will have to trade some of their great players.
“Frenkie is very essential for me, for the club, and for the team,” Xavi stated of De Jong’s future. He is a footballer whose talent and personality must usher in a new age.
“He’s been playing at a high level since I arrived, and he needs to keep scoring goals, assisting, and being the game’s protagonist.” In the next years, he might be one of the top midfielders in the world.”