Barcelona set to punish De Jong after Man Utd target ‘rejects pay cut’

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Barcelona will attempt to sell Frenkie de Jong in the January transfer window in spite of his desire to stay at the Nou Camp after refusing a new contract with a reduced salary, according to reports. De Jong has long been a priority target for Manchester United, who tried to sign him over the summer before eventually switching their focus to a move for Casemiro.

The Red Devils have been tipped to reignite their pursuit of De Jong in the upcoming January window and it seems as though they could finally be successful in their efforts to bring the Dutchman to Old Trafford at the next time of asking. De Jong is likely to be put up for sale by Barcelona after turning down the offer of an extended deal with a lower salary than what he is currently earning, according to The Athletic.

It is said that Barcelona are still looking for ways to alleviate their financial worries and could resort to selling a handful of players, either in January or at the end of the season. De Jong is said to be among those set for the chopping block in spite of his willingness to stay and fight for his place at the club, while the likes of Sergio Busquets and Gavi could also face ‘serious consequences’ regarding their futures over the coming months.

De Jong had no intention to leave Barcelona over the summer and remains eager to stay at the Nou Camp, but Barcelona are expected to try and sell him after they were left red-faced by his recent refusal to sign a new contract. The club’s hierarchy have concluded that his current annual salary of around £35m is ‘unsustainable’ and will attempt to cash in on his services after he declined to reduce his wage earlier this year.

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Barcelona will reportedly make one last attempt to get De Jong to sanction a ‘voluntary pay cut’ but know that he is highly unlikely to accept such a proposal in order to avoid being shipped out in the January window. This could potentially give United a great chance of signing the former Ajax man over the coming weeks, although they will still need to convince him that a move to Old Trafford would be in his best interests after failing to do so in the summer.

De Jong has already been urged to reject the opportunity to join United next month by former Liverpool winger Ryan Babel, who believes that he would be taking a backwards step by swapping Barcelona for the Red Devils.

“For Frenkie I would not recommend United in all honesty,” Babel told MyBettingSites. “At least not today. He needs a team that wants to play football, proper football on the ground.

“Yes, Man United has a coach that eventually if he has the right players can do that. They have so far have shown signs that Erik ten Hag knows what to do, but by far it is not the level as what he has done in Ajax. So for Frankie personally, if you go from Barcelona to United, I think that is a step down.”

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