Frenkie de Jong is set for showdown talks with Barcelona as speculation about his future continues to dominate the headlines.
Manchester United are keen to sign the Netherlands international, 25, this summer but it’s believed he’s not interested in ditching La Liga for the Premier League. De Jong has reportedly drawn up a list of 10 reasons why he shouldn’t join the Europa League hopefuls.
New United boss Erik ten Hag worked with De Jong at Ajax – winning a league and cup double during the 2018/19 campaign – and wants him to be the focal point of his Old Trafford revolution. Ten Hag succeeded interim boss Ralf Rangnick in May.
As reported by Marca, De Jong will discuss his future with Barcelona this week. The Catalan giants want him to accept a pay cut or leave the club with United waiting to pounce. The midfielder wants to stay and play under manager Xavi.
De Jong is expected to earn a base salary of €18million at Barcelona next season according to The Athletic, which is around £290,000-a-week. He’ll also receive a €2.88m (£2.37m) loyalty bonus. The talent still has four years remaining on his existing deal.
Barcelona are in substantial debt and the sale of De Jong would free up their budget. United have agreed an initial £56m fee with the Catalan giants, who have plenty of central midfielders to call on – including Pedri, Gavi, Nico Gonzalez, Riqui Puig and Sergio Busquets.
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Even if De Jong can be persuaded to join United, he is owed a huge amount of cash by Barcelona. It’s claimed the La Liga hopefuls still need to pay him more than £17m in deferred wages and bonuses – another issue that needs to be ironed out this week.
De Jong has been a regular at Barcelona since his move from Ajax in the summer of 2019, making 140 appearances in all competitions. He helped them win the Copa del Rey in April 2021. De Jong has 44 senior caps for the Netherlands to date.
Speaking earlier this month, former Barcelona manager Ronald Koeman told reporters: “I know the situation of Frenkie and he said it himself the other day, he wants to stay. It was his intention to stay at Barcelona and nothing else. That is the only thing I know.”
De Jong has also expressed his desire to stay at Barcelona. “What I’m saying, there is absolutely nothing of an agreement [with United] or anything official,” he told reporters last month. “At the moment there is no question of it at all – not that I know of in any case.
“Or they must not have told me, but I don’t think so… I prefer to stay with Barcelona. Barcelona is just my dream club. Also from a young age, I just said it, too.
“I’ve never regretted my choice despite the fact that I had hoped for more in terms of prizes than I’ve achieved so far. But I have never regretted my choice.”