Frenkie de Jong receives fresh Barcelona assurances to put nail in Man Utd coffin as plan set in motion

Frenkie de Jong, September 2022

Barcelona plan to sort out the wages owed to Manchester United target Frenkie de Jong at the end of the season, a report claims.

The Netherlands midfielder proved United boss Erik ten Hag’s top midfield transfer target in the recent transfer window. But, after a long and drawn-out transfer saga, a deal failed to materialise.

De Jong’s steadfast desire to stay at Barcelona ultimately stopped a deal happening. Barcelona were open to selling him to ease their financial concerns, but De Jong had other ideas.

Indeed, he first wanted to receive the wages he agreed to defer to help Barca through earlier financial troubles.

De Jong has since reiterated that he “always wanted to stay at Barcelona” and “remained calm” during the summer.

And according to Que T’hi Jugues, the La Liga club have set about returning De Jong what he is owed.

Barcelona will subsequently hold talks with the Dutchman and his camp at the end of the season. The move was originally agreed by the Spanish club’s president, Joan Laporta.

Should Barcelona’s talks go as planned, De Jong will not only receive his dues but could also sign a new contract.

His current terms expire in the summer of 2026, so next summer would be an ideal time to renew before the prospect of a cheaper exit opens up.

In any case, Que T’hi Jueges claims that the deferred wages will be enough to cement De Jong’s stance that he is staying. And that means Man Utd will likely have no further chances to sign him.

De Jong keeps Barcelona role

Despite his desire to stay, Barcelona manager Xavi raised questions about De Jong’s role in the summer by playing him as a centre-back in pre-season.

Since the proper season begun, though, the 25-year-old has returned to his favoured midfield roles.

De Jong has started half of Barcelona’s games in both La Liga and the Champions League, making substitute appearances in the other matches.

And he has one goal to his name from those eight matches this term.

Man Utd need long-term solution

United’s eventually-failed summer chase for De Jong came to a head amid the club’s poor start to the season.

And Premier League defeats against Brighton and Brentford to start the season convinced the club’s Glazer family owners to splash the cash.

United signed Real Madrid midfielder Casemiro, who signed a four-year deal at Old Trafford.

The 30-year-old has yet to find his feet in English football following his standout role at Real Madrid in a highly-successful era for Barcelona’s great rivals.

But, at 30, he is not a long-term solution to Man Utd’s midfield transfer needs.

Yes, he is only 30 and so has a few years left at the top level, but the Red Devils need to be thinking about further signings in that area.

They also brought in Christian Eriksen this summer, but he is the same age and in the same boat as Casemiro.

Scott McTominay, Fred and Bruno Fernandes are further options for Ten Hag as it stands, but his side do need to think about signing a younger midfielder.