Late on Wednesday, journalist Gerard Romero explained there is ’95 percent probability’ for Frenkie de Jong to end up at Manchester United in the coming weeks. He also stated that Barcelona are looking to sell the 24-year-old purely due to economic reasons.
Sport now claim the La Liga side are aware of the Red Devils’ interest in the midfielder.
It’s further claimed Manchester United have ‘contacted to negotiate for the Dutchman’, but these talks are ‘not advanced’. Barcelona do not want to let the player leave for ‘less than €100m’, either with fixed fee or including variables.
Barca need to raise funds and the Netherlands international is the ‘most attractive’ option for them. Although he has not shown his full potential at the Camp Nou, the Blaugrana believe his valuation cannot fall below €100m.
Sport further make it clear that Xavi Hernández’s side have not been proactive to sell De Jong nor have they offered him to another club. In fact, Manchester United, like other clubs, have asked about the player’s situation and his availability in the summer window.
The Premier League side are ‘convinced’ the former Ajax star can be one of the leaders of their new project under Erik ten Hag. The report even states De Jong is one of the priority targets for their incoming manager.
Barcelona have made it clear they will only sell the player if they were to receive an ‘off-market offer’. It needs to be seen how the negotiations progress with Manchester United [or another club] and if a specific figure can convince all parties involved.
De Jong has a good relationship with Ten Hag but wants to continue with the Catalan club. A move to Old Trafford is a ‘step backward’ for the midfielder, considering they won’t be able to offer Champions League football next season.
On the other hand, the Dutchman is aware of Barca’s delicate economic situation and also knows that he may struggle to enjoy regular minutes next season.
For now, both De Jong and Barcelona are ‘maintaining maximum secrecy although behind closed doors there is a lot of talk about this issue’.
The €100m fee mentioned feels very much like a tactic from Barca to put pressure on Manchester United, considering Sport and a few other Spanish sources were quoting a fee of €70-80m a few weeks ago.