Manchester United have joined the race to sign Barcelona midfield star Frenkie De Jong, but will have to adjust their valuation of the player, according to reports close to the Catalan club.
De Jong has established himself as a key player for Barcelona since joining them from Ajax in 2019. There are currently conflicting claims about his future at Camp Nou, though.
Some have indicated that Barca may have to sacrifice one of their star men to further balance the books. On the other hand, Xavi is keen to keep the Netherlands international as a cornerstone of his new project.
Catalan source El Nacional have weighed in on the 24-year-old’s future and Man Utd have entered the picture.
According to the report, United are interested in De Jong. It is a reflection of how their transfer policy will take shape under Ralf Rangnick.
El Nacional claim De Jong fits in with the kind of profile Rangnick has targeted in previous roles with other clubs. Therefore, the interim manager – who will later become a consultant to the club – would be keen on signing him.
To that end, there is a claim of United offering €55m (£46.9m) for De Jong. However, such a bid would not be to Barcelona’s liking.
Instead, the La Liga outfit would prefer to receive at least €70m (£59.7m) for their number 21. Even so, Xavi is adamant behind the scenes that De Jong will not be sold.
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Club president Joan Laporta, though, would have to listen to offers if they could help rectify a financial situation that has forced Barca to lose key players like Lionel Messi and generally only look at free signings in recent months.
Therefore, United may still have a chance of signing De Jong. It would be good news from their perspective for two reasons.
Not only would they be signing a player who could improve them in a position that has been a concern, but they would also be thwarting the transfer plans of their rivals Manchester City, who have also been linked with De Jong.
It would all come down to who can make the best offer for the midfielder and whether Barca would be willing to accept.
Frenkie De Jong deal more likely than two others
De Jong is not the only player to be discussed between Barca and United, as per El Nacional.
The report also details talks over the futures of Philippe Coutinho and Edinson Cavani.
Coutinho has struggled to live up to expectations since leaving Liverpool for Barca in 2018. His current club are now looking to offload him and reportedly have tried to send him to Manchester.
However, United were not receptive to the offer for the Brazilian.
Discussions over Cavani also hit a roadblock. The striker is out of contract at Old Trafford at the end of the season and Barca could be a suitor.
But Xavi appears to have put the brakes on a move despite Laporta being willing to accommodate the Uruguay international.
Although there may not be much movement regarding Coutinho or Cavani, the chances of De Jong moving to Man Utd seem to be open still.