Manchester United’s pursuit of Barcelona’s Frenkie de Jong is getting to be very conflicting. It was reported on Monday that the two clubs have closed a deal for €85 million this summer but the player did not want to leave the club, which makes the agreement on a deal strange.
We already knew that Barcelona had reduced the wages of the players during the coronavirus pandemic with De Jong, 25 owed £17 million in deferred wages. Obviously no player would want to leave a club when wages to that amount are owed with no agreement in place to receive them.
Journalist Oriol Domenech, who was first to break De Jong’s move to Barcelona in 2019 has stated; “For now, he [De Jong] has trained professionally, which is what he has to do, but he doesn’t want to be wasting time either. His goodbye seems imminent.”
Whilst what Domenech has stated seems to be positive and the opinion of someone who seems to be closer enough to the player, the other reports coming out seem to be negative. It just does not seem right that there are so many conflicting reports on this deal.
United should not really be negotiating for a player that does not want to leave his club, but the negotiations seem to have happened with Richard Arnold and John Murtough in Barcelona earlier this week. The reports from Spain seem to be negative, suggesting nothing will happen.
The latest from Esport3 suggests that De Jong has informed his teammates and club staff that he has no intention of leaving the club this summer, no matter how much United and Barcelona have agreed. That would end it right there for me. But work is still being done.
Rob Dawson of ESPN has reported that despite the reports in Spain suggesting otherwise, De Jong does want to move to Old Trafford this summer to link up with Erik ten Hag. It was earlier said that Dutchman would not leave for a club not playing UEFA Champions League football.
It could well be that De Jong is digging his heels in to ensure that Barcelona pay the wages that were deferred over the last two years. There could be a method to the madness there. This transfer was always going to be complicated, and complicated it is.
United have their work cut out here. Ten Hag obviously wants the player to build his squad around, believing that he could hold the keys to making a difference at the club this season and beyond. Obviously there is no direct indication what will happen here but time will tell. Hopefully.
Written by John Walker