Manchester United reported believe that Barcelona midfielder Frenkie de Jong would sign for the Old Trafford club this summer once the deferred wages mess has been resolved by the club. The reports have come from Spanish news source Sport which have been reporting that the player does not want to leave the Catalan club this summer.
De Jong, 25, travelled on the clubs pre-season tour of the United States of American last month where he played a defensive role which made it look like the club were trying to get rid of him, before he played in the midfield in the final match of the tour, a 2-0 victory over New York Red Bulls. Barcelona arrived back home on Sunday.
Barcelona have already signed free agents Andreas Christensen and Franck Kessie this summer, but purchasing Raphinha from Leeds United, Jules Kounde from Sevilla and Robert Lewandowski from Bayern Munich. In order to register the players, the club will need to offload De Jong, or other big salaried players this summer.
Early reports suggested that De Jong was keen to link back up with Erik ten Hag this summer, who managed Ajax between 2017 and 2022 with the Dutch midfielder leaving the club in the summer of 2019 for Barcelona. However, reports from Spain soon started to suggest that the player did not want to leave the club this summer.
It then progressed into him not wanting to sign for United because of their lack of UEFA Champions League this season with United set to play in the UEFA Europa League, in which Barcelona played a part in last season. Then came the links to Chelsea, which seemed to be rumours more than anything concrete.
De Jong is over around £17 million in deferred wages from 2020 when the pandemic struck, which is supposed to be the main problem in the long transfer saga this summer. If you were owed £17 million, which would be hard to get once you had left your place of employment, you would want it sorted before you left for pastures new.
Sport have also stated that United have ‘brought out all their artillery’ in their bid to sign the Dutchman and will happily wait until the final hours of the summer transfer window, which closes at 23:00 BST on Thursday 1 September 2022, giving United and Barcelona a lot of time to get something sorted.
Of course, that is not ideal for United who require some strengthening to the midfield this summer, preferably before they started the Premier League season, which starts against Brighton and Hove Albion on Sunday. However, that looks unlikely. United do face Liverpool this month and even that could be unrealistic.
United are supposedly convinced that De Jong would move to the Theatre of Dreams this summer, even despite what has been reported in Spain. Barcelona will need to register their new signings ahead of their opening La Liga fixture against Rayo Vallecano on Saturday 13 August 2022. They could well be under pressure to get that done this summer.
Written by John Walker