Frenkie De Jong could forgo £6million to force through a move to Manchester City – in turn disappointing their rivals Manchester United – according to a report.
De Jong could be on his way out of Barcelona this summer despite remaining a regular starter there. Their financial issues in recent years could cause them to make a big sale in the transfer window.
The emergence of young talents like Pedri and Gavi means De Jong may not be missed too much at Camp Nou, despite his ability. It seems Barcelona are ready to send him to the Premier League.
It will likely be a two-horse race for his signature, from either side of the Manchester divide. Erik ten Hag wants to reunite with his former Ajax pupil at Man Utd, but Pep Guardiola remains keen on taking him to Man City.
Guardiola wanted De Jong before he chose the more lucrative package on offer by Barcelona. Now, with Fernandinho set to quit City in the summer, a midfielder is back on their wanted list.
According to The Sun, the Premier League leaders could make a move for De Jong. They would not want to match Barca’s £65million investment, but could put a tempting package together.
Crucially, De Jong would be interested in the move in turn. He wants his next club to be playing in the Champions League next season, which puts United at a disadvantage despite the Ten Hag connection.
And financially, he is willing to make a sacrifice to speed up his Barcelona exit. The La Liga giants still owe him more than £6m in deferred wages, but he could walk away from that to smooth over his departure.
Which Manchester club is better for Frenkie De Jong
The two Manchester clubs look like they'll be going to battle over Barcelona's Frenkie De Jong, however United is probably the better option for him.
It would then be up to Barcelona to come to an agreement with Man City for the transfer.
De Jong could be involved in Man City swap deal
From their end, the Catalan club would be interested in taking Raheem Sterling or Bernardo Silva as part of a swap deal.
Sterling is out of contract with City in 2023 and has opened the door to a move abroad.
Silva, meanwhile, has also been linked with a La Liga move at some stage.
Whether City would be willing to sacrifice either player remains to be seen. Sterling has contributed to 25 goals this season and Silva has played his part in 20.
But with Erling Haaland on his way, their attack is about to change, so it may be the right time for either to move on. Sterling would seem the likelier candidate given his contractual situation.
However, there are a lot of factors behind each potential move. Only time will tell what happens for De Jong and either of the potential City counterweights.