A Man City ace has instructed his agent to engineer a move to Barcelona in a move that will make the Spanish side more receptive to selling Man Utd target, Frenkie de Jong, per a report.
Manchester United’s pursuit of Frenkie de Jong is quickly becoming the transfer saga of the summer. The Red Devils have a basic agreement over the fee in place. Widespread reports have claimed the initial fee would be £56.2m with a further £17m potentially making its way to Spain as add-ons.
However, issues regarding payments, payment structure and personal terms are all still unresolved. Transfer guru Fabrizio Romano recently revealed discussions over personal terms haven’t even been opened yet. What’s more, the player’s preference still remains staying in Barcelona.
Clouding United’s landscape further were the comments of Barcelona president, Joan Laporta.
He recently insisted Barcelona have no intention of selling De Jong. What’s more, if that is just posturing and Barca do cash in, Chelsea have emerged as a genuine contender to hijack United’s move anyway.
However, a ray of hope for those wishing to see De Jong in England has emerged in the Spanish press.
Diario Sport (as cited by the Mirror), report Barcelona are hopeful of replacing De Jong with Man City’s Bernardo Silva.
The Portuguese, 27, is one of the Premier League’s finest midfielders. He is an integral part of Pep Guardiola’s well-oiled machine and City are at their best when Silva is on the pitch.
Silva pushing for Barcelona switch
However, the playmaker has reportedly instructed his agent, Jorge Mendes, to pursue a move to the Camp Nou.
Given the calibre of player he is, the report claims City value Silva around the £80m mark. That is beyond Barcelona’s means, though it’s noted the player’s ‘important’ first step of okaying the move could see City relax their demands.
What’s more, Guardiola previously stressed he does not want players at the club who don’t want to be there.
“Today I think Bernardo Silva will stay,” Guardiola said of his midfielder’s situation earlier this summer.
“But as I’ve always said, from my time at Barça, I don’t want players who don’t want to be at my club. What I can say is that Bernardo is important to us.”
City have shown they are willing to axe some of their most high profile stars in the right circumstances this summer.
Gabriel Jesus completed a move to Arsenal on Monday morning, while Raheem Sterling is in talks with Chelsea.
A Silva exit now looks a very real possibility, and his departure would simultaneously weaken Man City and help Man Utd in their De Jong pursuit.
De Jong transfer could define United’s summer
The Dutch maestro is United’s clear No 1 transfer target this summer. He has been identified as the man Erik ten Hag wants to pull the strings in his midfield.
Other potential targets are being looked at, including Christian Eriksen. A contract offer remains on the table for the Dane, though De Jong is undoubtedly the main prize.
Manchester United are due to jet off for their pre-season tour on July 8. Ten Hag had wanted the bulk of United’s business wrapped up before then. Though their arrivals count thus far stands at zero.
Clearly, United are determined to land the Dutchman. But the longer the saga drags on, the less time they have to allocate the money towards other transfers if it breaks down.
What’s more, time on the training pitch is never more important than under a new manager. For now at least, Ten Hag isn’t working alongside many of the names he’s likely to field come opening day.