Tactical Insights

Barcelona’s Frenkie de Jong ‘wants to join’ Manchester United rival

Barcelona midfielder Frenkie de Jong reportedly performs a U-turn over a transfer to a Manchester club during the summer transfer window.

Barcelona midfielder Frenkie de Jong is reportedly ready to make a transfer to Manchester during the summer transfer window.

The Netherlands international, who is missing Euro 2024 due to an ankle injury, has spent the last five years of his career at Camp Nou.

During that time, 213 appearances have been made in all competitions, with lifting a La Liga title in 2022-23 being the undoubted highlight.

However, there have been multiple occasions that De Jong has been heavily linked with a move to the Premier League with Manchester City or Manchester United.

Both clubs had been in the hunt for De Jong when he was contemplating the next stage of his career having starred for Ajax during the 2018-19 campaign.

Three years later, United made a sustained attempt to try to sign De Jong when they appointed Dutch compatriot Erik ten Hag as their new head coach, at a time when Barcelona were also prepared to cash in on his signature amid their worsening financial issues.

Instead, De Jong opted to stay put and fight for his place with the Catalan outfit, making 43 appearances during the following campaign that led to the best moment of his career to date.

Barcelona's Frenkie de Jong pictured during training on February 22, 2023© Reuters

De Jong changes mind over Manchester move

With two years still remaining on his contract, De Jong does not necessarily have to make a firm decision on his next challenge at this point in time.

Nevertheless, according to reports in Spain, as per TEAMtalk, De Jong is interested in securing a transfer to Man City over the coming months.

The report adds that Barcelona are open to negotiations regarding the potential sale of a player, the likely reason being that his valuation will decrease should a contract renewal not materialise.

De Jong is said to be ‘attracted’ by the thought of playing for Pep Guardiola, although it is suggested that the asking price could prove to be an issue.

FC Barcelona president Joan Laporta speaks during the board meeting on September 13, 2023© Reuters

Barcelona to insist on huge transfer fee

Despite the benefits that would come from cashing in on De Jong, Barcelona are allegedly insistent that they will not sell De Jong for less than €100m (£84.58m).

With that being €25m (£21.14m) higher than what Barcelona paid five years ago, Man City may back off any opportunity to sign De Jong unless circumstances change.

Although Barcelona can point to De Jong’s 30 starts in all competitions last season as proof of his value, he has not played since April due to the aforementioned ankle issue.

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