Frenkie de Jong has returned to Barcelona for the start of pre-season ahead of the 2022-23 campaign but the midfielder’s future remains uncertain amid speculation he is wanted by Manchester United.
Barcelona are due to jet off for a pre-season tour of the United States on Saturday, July 16 and could be about to take some “drastic” action regarding the 25-year-old, according to Diario Sport.
The Catalan giants are “seriously considering” leaving De Jong out of the traveling squad in a bid to force his exit. The midfielder has made it clear he wants to stay at Barcelona despite interest from Erik ten Hag’s side.
However, Barcelona want to sell to free up €30 million on the wage bill. If the Dutchman does depart it will allow the Catalans to register new signings Franck Kessie and Andreas Christensen.
Barcelona would also pocket around €85m from De Jong’s sale which would also prove a huge financial boost to the club. So far the Netherlands international has resisted all attempts to move away from the club but leaving him out of the squad would send a very strong message.
Xavi’s side head to the United States for pre-season friendlies against Inter Miami, Real Madrid, Juventus, and the New York Red Bulls. The team will then head back to Spain for one final friendly match, against Pumas in the Gamper Trophy, before the start of the new campaign.
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Barcelona Agree Fee For De Jong
Barcelona have already agreed a fee for De Jong with Manchester United. The Red Devils are willing to pay a guaranteed fee of €75m plus add-ons worth €10m, as reported by The Athletic.
De Jong is Manchester United coach Ten Hag’s top “priority” signing this summer and knows the midfielder well from working with him at former club Ajax. Indeed De Jong played a key role in the Ajax side that reached the Champions League semi-finals in 2018-19.
Manchester United may have agreed a fee for De Jong but the club must still agree personal terms with the midfielder and convince him to swap the Camp Nou for Old Trafford this summer.
Another Sale Needed?
De Jong may not be the only player potentially leaving Barca this summer. The Catalans would still need another departure to help register new signing Raphinha and newly-renewed Ousmane Dembele, according to Diario Sport.
The sale of Memphis Depay could see Barcelona achieve those objectives as the Netherlands international is valued at around €20-25m and is into the final year of his contract at the Camp Nou.
Barcelona hardly lack for alternatives if De Jong and Memphis depart either. Xavi has Sergio Busquets, Franck Kessie, Pablo Torres, Pedri, Gavi and Nico Gonzalez as his midfield options for the new campaign.
Meanwhile, the impending arrival of Raphinha and Dembele’s decision to sign a new contract at Barcelona mean that Memphis may struggle for game time if he does stay at the club.