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Manchester United

Premier League • England

Frenkie de Jong transfer news: Xavi admits Barcelona finances could see Manchester United pounce

Matthew Briggs
Frenkie De Jong (FC Barcelona) looks during the La Liga Santander between FC Barcelona and Rayo Vallecano at Camp Nou on 24 April 2022 in Barcelona

Barcelona coach Xavi says that Frenkie de Jong is a “fundamental” player at the Camp Nou, but has admitted that Barca’s finances could dictate a transfer to the Premier League.

Manchester United have been linked with a move for the classy Dutch midfielder. The playmaker has been with the LaLiga side since his £70m in 2019 and he is one of their biggest assets.

United have been mentioned as suitors under new boss Erik ten Hag. Of course the pair were together at Ajax and transfer expert Gerard Romero recently claimed a deal was 95 per cent done.

He claims United will pay £69m for a player who has been capped 40 times by the Netherlands.

Romero may well have jumped the gun, but United’s interest is understood to be real. And with Paul Pogba and Nemanja Matic both leaving, United’s need for a central kingpin is clear.

And De Jong’s situation is becoming clearer by the day.

ESPN reported this week that De Jong would prefer to stay at the Camp Nou. And Xavi has said previously that the midfielder’s “quality” makes him “the present and the future” at the club.

But, while claiming De Jong is integral to his plans, Xavi has now suggested thar finances could take centre stage.

 

“For me [De Jong] is a very important player,” Xavi told a news conference on Saturday. “He’s almost always been a starter, except when I’ve rotated [the team]. He is a fundamental player, but then there is the financial situation of the club.

“Not just with Frenkie, I mean in general. He’s a player I like a lot, but we’ll see how the situation is.”

Barcelona finances

However, the LaLiga club’s financial situation could dictate that De Jong or any of their other assets could be sold on.

Manchester United 'on the cusp' of Frenkie de Jong signing

Manchester United are reportedly 'on the cusp' of signing Barcelona midfielder Frenkie de Jong, according to Gerard Romero.

Much-publicised financial difficulties meant they had to part with seven-time Ballon d’Or winner Lionel Messi in the summer of 2021.

The club’s debts had risen to €1.35bn in August 2021 and president Joan Laporta revealed that salaries were running at 103% of the club’s income.

The club had losses of £412m for the last year, leaving them with a negative net worth of £386m. Revenue was down 26% due to Covid-19 and Laporta has to reduce salaries.

He has managed to trim off about £171 with Messi departing. And Gerard Pique, Jordi Alba and Sergio Busquets have agreed to salary reductions.

Philippe Coutinho was loaned to Aston Villa , while Samuel Umtiti agreed a new contract on reduced terms.

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