Barcelona admit they’re ‘lucky’ to still have star after Man Utd neared signing

Frenkie de Jong, Robert Lewandowski, Barcelona, February 2023

Barcelona’s ‘leadership’ have reportedly conceded the club were ‘lucky’ not to have sold Frenkie de Jong amid interest from Manchester United.

In Erik ten Hag’s first summer as United manager, the club were busy. Indeed, five men walked through the door at Old Trafford, costing north of £200million.

Those additions were: Antony, Lisandro Martinez, Tyrell Malacia, Casemiro and Christian Eriksen.

The latter pair have been particularly effective and formed one of the best midfield partnerships in the Premier League. However, one massive name that evaded the Red Devils’ grasp was De Jong.

Indeed, had United managed to snare the Barcelona midfielder, they might not have signed one of those other stars.

It seemed as if Ten Hag set out signing De Jong as his priority. After a long pursuit, reports suggested United had come to an agreement with Barcelona over the transfer.

That deal, if it was to be done, would reportedly have been worth around £75million.

However, De Jong apparently refused to leave Barca, and the move was left in tatters.

Barcelona ‘lucky’ to keep De Jong

That’s been a blessing for Barca, as De Jong has been a mainstay of the side this season. He’s missed just two games that he’s been available for in La Liga.

The club seem to be aware of the value he brings to the side, too. Indeed, a club insider has reportedly told Mundo Deportivo the higher ups feel they are “lucky we didn’t sell him.”

He continued to detail the midfielder’s role as one of the most crucial assets at the club.

“He understands better and better what is being asked of him and the coach values ​​him a lot,” he added.

That is in line with Barca coach Xavi’s comments – the manager feels his star has been “at an extraordinary level for months”.

Not much chance of a De Jong deal

Recently, reports have suggested both United and Chelsea are interested in securing a deal for De Jong. The Blues were reported to have been keen when their league rivals came close to snaring the star.

In fact, the Todd Boehly-owned side have reportedly made De Jong their ‘priority’ for the summer. A driving force in that is the chairman being a ‘huge admirer’ of his.

However, the admission from Barcelona means it’ll now be a massive task for anybody to take him on board.

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