Barcelona midfielder and reported Manchester United target Frenkie de Jong will be allowed to leave the club in search of a new challenge this summer, according to reports. The Red Devils have been heavily linked with a move for De Jong over the last few weeks, with incoming boss Erik ten Hag said to be keen on snapping up the former Ajax man in advance of next season.
United are believed to be in the market for a new holding midfielder and have been tipped to firm up their interest in De Jong, who has chipped in with four goals and five assists for Barcelona in all competitions since the beginning of the campaign. It seems as though Ten Hag could be well-placed to make De Jong his first signing at Old Trafford, with Barcelona willing to sell the Dutchman for the right price, according to AS.
The report claims that Xavi values De Jong highly but is aware that he lacks the leadership qualities required to wear the captain’s armband for Barcelona on a consistent basis. The Catalan giants would be prepared to let the midfielder join another club over the coming months and have already made progress in talks to replace him with Carlos Soler of Valencia ahead of next season.
Negotiations between Barcelona and Valencia are said to be ‘very advanced’ at this stage of proceedings, but it seems likely that De Jong will need to be shipped out in order to allow Soler to join their ranks in the near future. Bayern Munich have also been credited with a desire to land De Jong, while a number of other Premier League teams are thought to be keen on rivalling United for his signature at the end of the season.
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Barcelona would reportedly be looking for a fee of around £58.6million to let De Jong leave the club this summer, but it remains to be seen whether the Red Devils will be happy to stump up the cash in order to secure his services. The 24-year-old played under Ten Hag during his time at Ajax before joining Barcelona in 2019 and would seemingly fit the profile at United, who are in desperate need of additional reinforcements in a number of positions before the new season begins.
United are set to lose Paul Pogba and Nemanja Matic at the end of the current campaign and will need to replace them in order to boost their hopes of mounting a renewed top-four challenge in the Premier League at the very next time of asking. However, De Jong’s father, John, has already suggested that a move to Old Trafford could be outside the realms of possibility for his son due to the notoriously unpredictable weather in England.
“It’s often bad weather there, of course it’s about football, but it does matter,” he told Algemeen Dagblad when quizzed on De Jong’s future prospects back in December.
“Of course, I know that Barcelona needs money and a great offer for Frenkie could help, but I don’t see it happening any time soon. Although, five top European clubs have all called.
“They [De Jong and his partner Mikky] are having such a great time in Barcelona. Life is great there, I’m there often. Even now you are in the sun with 16 degrees.”
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