Manchester City have placed a huge €90m offer on the table for Barcelona midfielder Frenkie de Jong, according to a report in Spain.
The talk from Catalonia is that new boss Xavi is ready to cash in on the Netherlands international with talented youngsters coming through. The 24-year-old Dutchman is not having a vintage season in a Barca side that is struggling to find its best form. Indeed, their poor form saw Ronald Koeman axed and Xavi brought in as his successor.
Finding a winning formula amid their financial constraints is a difficult task for Xavi. And earlier this week, Jose Alvarez of El Chiringuito and relayed by Diario AS, claimed Barca had decided to listen to offers for De Jong.
Indeed, Xavi rates upcoming youngsters Pedri and Gavi highly. And he reportedly thinks they can fill any gap created by De Jong’s departure.
Already things have moved quickly if reports from Fichajes.net are to be believed. Manchester City have made their interest known. And not only that, they have also put a “whopping €90m” on the table for the 24-year-old.
Their move, if true, has been made very quickly, but they are looking for a heir to Fernandinho in the middle of the park.
The 36-year-old signed a one-year extension last summer and will be out of contract again in June 2022.
Sport claims De Jong has no intention of leaving Barcelona. But he may not have the final say especially with such money at stake.
The €90m fee would give Xavi some wiggle room and see them make a small profit on the €86m their paid for the player in 2019.
De Jong, who has been mentioned as a Liverpool target, is said to be excited to play under Barca legend Xaxi and he will be hoping for a lift in his form.
Data-driven De Jong
The Fichajes report says De Jong is “one of the most criticised footballers” during the LaLiga side’s poor season. He is also “not guaranteed” his place in the team, despite making 13 starts so far this term.
Despite his struggles this season, De Jong says he has improved by using data.
“I’m not a player noted for goals and assists. And my team-mates sometimes used to joke about it with me,” he told the club’s website.
“However, one day while at Ajax, we were shown some data regarding technical aspects. I was surprised to see myself as one of the standout players in the build up for goals. Data like this allowed me to get back at my team-mates.
“Some players really aren’t that bothered about it, but I think that data can help you improve.
“After games and some training sessions, I ask for my numbers to see if they match what I felt. Having that information is good as it gives you a snapshot of the work you did.”