Frenkie de Jong has made no secret of the fact he would welcome playing with Robert Lewandowski at Barcelona – but the La Liga club are still pointing towards his potential exit.
De Jong is a major target for Manchester United, where he could reunite with his former Ajax boss Erik ten Hag. The incoming manager wants to strengthen the midfield he is inheriting. Indeed, United are losing Paul Pogba, Nemanja Matic, Jesse Lingard and Juan Mata in that territory.
Ten Hag is hoping to convince De Jong to leave Barcelona behind, in what would be one of the biggest transfers of the summer.
But another of the main events to keep an eye on during the window is what happens with Robert Lewandowski. The Bayern Munich legend wants a new challenge and has a mutual desire to join Barcelona.
In turn, De Jong has now confessed he would love to be on the same team as the Poland international.
While on international duty, De Jong said of Lewandowski’s future: “He’s an amazing player, one of the best in the world.
“It’s up to him.”
De Jong’s Netherlands drew 2-2 with Lewandowski’s Poland on Saturday. The current Barcelona player started, but his potential new teammate did not feature.
Still, De Jong concluded that playing on the same side as Lewandowski would be a good thing.
He said: “Of course I would like to have Lewandowski in my team.”
Whether he gets the chance at Barcelona or not, though, is up for question. Interestingly, Manchester United have also been linked with Lewandowski.
Barcelona may have to sanction De Jong sale
But the former Borussia Dortmund star’s preference to join Barcelona is clear. And amid their rebuild, the La Liga giants must prepare to offload a big name or two.
With that in mind, the chances of them sacrificing De Jong to Man Utd are increasing. After all, they have plenty of other options in his midfield position.
Manchester United in direct talks with Frenkie De Jong
Manchester United have hope with signing Frenkie De Jong from Barcelona but Champions League is a massive factor
Recently, Barcelona president Joan Laporta admitted they will have to sell someone important.
Laporta said: “The cleaning up involves two options: the sale of a percentage of the rights television channels of La Liga and the sale of a minority percentage of BLM, which is owned by the club.
“We are also prepared in the event that an important player has to be sold. The sports management is prepared to execute the options we have to make a more competitive squad.”
Hence, if Barcelona do sign Lewandowski, it may not be before they have offloaded De Jong anyway. In turn, Man Utd will be hoping to benefit.
Which player would be more important for Man Utd?
Although Man Utd do possess an interest in Lewandowski, their need for De Jong is arguably greater.
As mentioned, the number of midfielders available to Ten Hag will be lower than what Ralf Rangnick was able to work with.
Getting someone he had a prior connection with would be beneficial to fill the void.
Adding Lewandowski would certainly be useful, too. Edinson Cavani has left as a free agent, so they should look to sign a striker.
There are not many better than Lewandowski. But if his heart is set on joining Barcelona, maybe United should focus on more realistic options.
But the midfield must be their starting point anyway. Hence, they will have to make as much progress as possible towards the De Jong transfer.