Manchester United

Manchester United

Premier League • England

Man Utd to incite Barcelona downfall as astonishing double deal gets green light from La Liga chief amid £177m claim

Robert Lewandowski, Frenkie de Jong and Gavi of Barcelona

Manchester United could kickstart Barcelona’s downfall by landing two of their top players this summer after La Liga president Javier Tebas revealed Xavi’s side cannot sign any new stars until they balance their books.

On Thursday, Man Utd were given a huge transfer boost, with their push to sign Barca midfielder Frenkie de Jong seemingly back on. talkSPORT claim the midfielder has changed his mind about Man Utd and now wants to join them this summer.

The Red Devils were in negotiations with Barca and De Jong for months last summer. However, the Dutchman wanted to remain at the Camp Nou then.

But two factors have seen De Jong complete a U-turn on his future. The first is that he has been hugely impressed by Man Utd’s form under Erik ten Hag. They have just won the Carabao Cup and could yet add more silverware to their cabinet before the season is done. Man Utd knocked Barca out of the Europa League last week and will face Real Betis in the last 16. They also remain in the FA Cup.

The second reason De Jong would like to move to Old Trafford is the possibility of forming a devastating midfield pairing with Casemiro. The former Real Madrid man has been arguably the signing of the season, transforming the way Man Utd play.

De Jong is not the only Barca star Ten Hag hopes to bring in. He is also interested in young winger Ansu Fati, though competition for the attacker will arrive from Arsenal and Liverpool.

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De Jong is a regular in the Barca first team, having made 31 appearances in all competitions so far this term. Fati is not quite as important to Barca right now. Although, club chiefs view him as being one for the future.

De Jong and Fati leaving Barca for Man Utd could derail Xavi’s success in Catalonia. And Tebas has now effectively given Man Utd the green light by revealing how Barca must sell £177million worth of players in the near future.

Javier Tebas rips into Barcelona finances

During an appearance at the Financial Times’ Business of Football summit, Tebas said (via talkSPORT): “As of today, Barcelona doesn’t have any room in its budget to spend in the upcoming transfer window.

“Barcelona has been involved in questionable behaviour which has had an impact on La Liga and we are acting accordingly. We have ruled that they can no longer sign more players.

“They sold off £620m in TV rights and tried to find different ways to solve the situation. But they won’t be able to do that next season. We have strict economic controls. At the end of each window, we tell all the clubs in La Liga what they can spend.

“In the case of Barcelona, they have to drop from spending on wages and transfers from £532m to £399m, so it’s a budget of minus £177m.

“They have to reduce their investment in players and we have encouraged them to sell players because, for every amount they raise in sales, they can spend 40 per cent of that.”

It is incredible that a club of Barca’s stature has reached this sorry state of affairs. Club president Joan Laporta has tried to reduce the huge debt. But it is clear that much more needs to be done before Barca’s situation can be described as plain-sailing.

Man Utd are one of the clubs who look set to pounce on the situation. De Jong will be one of their main targets, while a bid could also be made for Fati.

Meanwhile, Friday’s Euro Paper Talk includes a Bayern Munich star rejecting a move to Man Utd.