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Manchester United may now have the perfect opportunity to sign Frenkie de Jong from Barcelona this summer, according to reports in Spain. De Jong to United was the transfer saga that never was last year after months of speculation.
Soon after Erik ten Hag’s arrival at Old Trafford, it soon became clear that his No 1 target was De Jong. The pair worked together at Ajax with Ten Hag the man who helped shape De Jong’s career before his big-money move to Barcelona.
The United boss was keen on a reunion at Old Trafford, but De Jong had no interest in leaving the Nou Camp. It was reported that Barcelona were the ones pushing for a deal to happen due to their financial position.
The Spanish giants had already spent close to £150million on Raphinha, Jules Kounde and Robert Lewandowski while forking out big wages for Franck Kessie, Andreas Christensen, Hector Bellerin and Marcos Alonso on free transfers. A number of players were released last summer such as Miralem Pjanic, Martin Braithwaite, Riqui Puig and Dani Alves among others.
But Barcelona’s financial situation has failed to improve since then and reports in Spain now indicate this summer could be make or break for them. La Liga president Javier Tebas recently stated that Barcelona must shrink their wage bill by half following new rules introduced where asset sales can only contribute to the salary limit to just five per cent.
Barcelona were able to spend as much as they did last year after selling off a large portion of club assets. According to Mundo Deportivo, the easiest way for Barcelona to raise the money needed to fund the deficit is through player sales.
Ansu Fati, Sergi Roberto, Sergio Busquets and Ferran Torres are all mentioned as players who could be sold on to raise funds. But De Jong’s future will be of most interest to United and Barcelona’s situation could act as an invitation to United.
Ten Hag is in desperate need of another midfielder with Casemiro’s absence through suspension highlighting how short United are of options. Scott McTominay, Donny van de Beek and Christian Eriksen are also missing in midfield through injury, leaving just Fred and loanee Marcel Sabitzer as options at the moment.
United are said to have retained an interest in De Jong from last summer and the fact they opted against making any permanent moves in January indicates they’re saving for the summer window.
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