Manchester United face three huge hurdles to sign Frenkie de Jong from Barcelona

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Barcelona midfielder Frenkie de Jong is unlikely to join Manchester United over the coming months due to a number of obstacles with the potential to rule the Red Devils out of the running for his signature, according to reports. United are said to be in the market for at least one new deep-lying midfielder and have recently been credited with an interest in De Jong, who has established himself as one of Barcelona’s most important players under Xavi’s guidance over the last few months.

The Dutchman worked under Erik ten Hag during the latter’s time at Ajax and has reportedly emerged as a priority target for the incoming Red Devils boss ahead of the new season. However, United would be forced to overcome three major sticking points in order to bring De Jong to Old Trafford over the coming weeks, according to transfer expert Jonathan Shrager.

It is claimed that Barcelona will not be looking to sell De Jong this summer, with Xavi eager to keep hold of the midfielder as he looks to prepare for a renewed La Liga title challenge at the very next time of asking. De Jong is also said to be keen on playing in the Champions League next season and may decide against pushing for a move to United if they fail to secure a top-four finish in the Premier League between now and the end of the campaign.

Meanwhile, the Barcelona playmaker is also believed to be on Manchester City’s radar, with Pep Guardiola understood to be a huge admirer of his talents. Although United have reportedly been keeping tabs on De Jong’s development at Barcelona for some time, the aforementioned factors suggest that a move for his services could prove to be a step too far when the bidding opens in the summer months.

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De Jong is tied down to Barcelona until the summer of 2026 after signing a long-term deal upon his arrival in 2019 and remains a favourite of Xavi, who has transformed the club’s fortunes since taking over as manager back in November. The 42-year-old waxed lyrical over De Jong when quizzed on the player’s future earlier this month by insisting that he can become one of the world’s best midfielders if he continues to perform well on a regular basis over the next few years.

“Frenkie is very important for me, for the club and for the team,” said Xavi. “He is a footballer who has to mark an era with his quality and personality.

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“He is at a very good level since I arrived and he has to continue scoring goals, assists, and being the protagonist in games. He could be one of the best midfielders in the world in the coming years.”

De Jong has featured on 43 occasions for Barcelona in all competitions since the beginning of the campaign, chipping in with four goals and five assists in the process. He played a major role in helping Ajax to reach the semi-finals of the Champions League under Ten Hag’s guidance in 2019 and is widely expected to start in midfield for the Netherlands at this year’s World Cup in Qatar.

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