Manchester United

Manchester United

Premier League • England

Transfer Gossip: Man Utd chiefs set firm Frenkie de Jong deadline after travelling to Spain to finalise deal; Villa man eyed as Barcelona replacement

Frenkie de Jong of Barcelona

Manchester United chiefs Richard Arnold and John Murtough have told Barcelona when they want the Frenkie de Jong deal done by, Xavi’s side are looking at an Aston Villa star as a potential replacement, and Wolves are plotting a record-breaking move for a Premier League player – all in Tuesday’s Transfer Gossip.


Manchester United CEO Richard Arnold and Director of Football John Murtough have told Barcelona when they want the signing of Frenkie de Jong completed by, having travelled to Spain on Monday to finalise the deal.

United’s hopes of landing the central midfielder appeared to be in tatters on Monday morning.

Barcelona president Joan Laporta’s refusal to sell De Jong had forced the Red Devils to plan moves for Ruben Neves and Youri Tielemans instead.

But the Spanish club quickly changed their tune and reports in Spain state they are ‘secretly working’ on an exit for De Jong.

His relationship with manager Xavi has ‘broken down’ recently and United have responded by sending Arnold and Murtough to Catalonia, to finally get his capture over the line.

It seems Manchester United have had enough, after weeks of twists and turns in the transfer saga.

Why do Manchester United want Frenkie de Jong?

Why do Manchester United want Frenkie de Jong when the player seemingly doesn't want a move to Old Trafford?

And according to talkSPORT, club officials have told their Barca counterparts they want the De Jong deal to be concluded by Friday.

United are willing to pay an initial £56million, plus add-ons, to land the Dutchman. However, Barca reportedly owe him £17m in unpaid wages and this is complicating proceedings.

Arnold and Murtough have informed Barca that this issue must be resolved, allowing them to complete De Jong’s signing before the weekend.

United want to show they are willing to back new manager Erik ten Hag in the transfer market. And bringing in De Jong – who is his top target – is the perfect way of doing this.

The Manchester club need midfield reinforcements after the likes of Paul Pogba, Nemanja Matic and Juan Mata left Old Trafford on free transfers.

And Ten Hag confirmed that midfield signings are a priority on Monday, telling reporters: “We’re still looking for players in the midfield and in offence.”


Barca could turn to the Premier League to find De Jong’s long-term successor in midfield.

Aston Villa midfielder Carney Chukwuemeka

According to Fabrizio Romano, the Blaugrana have ‘serious interest’ in Aston Villa starlet Carney Chukwuemeka.

At 18 years old, he is regarded as one of the best teenagers in England. But with his contract expiring in June 2023, Aston Villa are at risk of losing him.

Barca regard Chukwuemeka as a player with ‘huge potential’, setting up a possible transfer pursuit.

If the England U19 international opts to run down his contract at Villa Park, then Barca might be able to pick him up on a free transfer next summer.

Due to Chukwuemeka’s age, and the fact he graduated from Villa’s academy, Steven Gerrard’s side would receive compensation if the player left.

However, it wouldn’t be anywhere near as much as they would request in a transfer fee, making it potentially a major blow for the club.

Chukwuemeka was recently linked with a move to German outfit Borussia Dortmund. But Sport1 journalist Patrick Berger says such rumours are wide of the mark.

There are other teams who could rival Barca for his signature, though. talkSPORT claim Liverpool, Arsenal and Bayern Munich are the other sides who hold an interest.


Wolves are in talks with Burnley over the signing of central defender Nathan Collins, according to the Daily Mail.

Nathan Collins Burnley May 2022

Collins only joined the Clarets last year, as they paid Stoke £12m for him. But an early exit from Turf Moor is already edging closer, mainly due to Burnley’s relegation from the top flight.

The Daily Mail state Wolves are close to landing the 21-year-old, who has won six caps for the Republic of Ireland so far.

And it would be a record-breaking move as Wolves are willing to pay £20.5m. This would make Collins the most expensive Irish player of all time, eclipsing the £19m Liverpool sent Tottenham for Robbie Keane in 2008.

Collins is set to become Wolves’ first new signing of the summer window. Wanderers had been in discussions to snatch Joao Palhinha from Sporting Lisbon, but lost out to Fulham.

Should this move reach completion, then Collins will bolster Bruno Lage’s options at centre-back. He will compete with the likes of Conor Coady, Willy Boly and Max Kilman for a starting spot.

The Burnley man can also operate at right-back, meaning he could deputise for Nelson Semedo if the Portugal international picks up an injury.