Barcelona have reportedly set an asking price of €70 million on midfielder Frenkie de Jong, who is a target for Manchester United and Manchester City.
According to a report from El Nacional, Barcelona are seriously considering the possibility of offloading Frenkie de Jong in order to generate funds for transfers, amid interest in his services from both Manchester United and Manchester City.
Frenkie de Jong is in his third full season with Barcelona but is yet to hit his best levels. While there have been plenty of glimpses of his top-notch quality, especially in the last season, he is yet to win over large sections of supporters while there have been reports of club president Joan Laporta himself not being convinced by the Dutch international.
Barcelona are in dire straits financially and require urgent cash injection as they look to reinforce their squad in the January transfer window. But with no funds available, Laporta could be forced into cashing in on some of his most valuable players, with de Jong being one among the Catalans’ best sellable assets.
There seems to be no shortage of suitors for de Jong either, with Manchester City and Manchester United taking a keen interest in his situation. The 24-year-old has been on the radars of Manchester City since before his move to Barcelona, with manager Pep Guardiola said to be a huge admirer of the Dutch midfielder.
The Cityzens have a well-stocked midfield unit comprising Kevin De Bruyne, Ilkay Gundogan, Bernardo Silva, Fernandinho, Rodri and Phil Foden. However, both Foden and Silva have been used higher up the pitch by Guardiola while Fernandinho is in the twilight of his career. In addition, with De Bruyne and Gundogan in their thirties, the Premier League champions could do with future-proofing their midfield.
De Jong, thus, has emerged as a viable transfer target, with Manchester City even demanding him in a swap deal involving Raheem Sterling. However, they will likely face competition from neighbours and arch-rivals Manchester United, who are also in the market for reinforcements in the middle of the park.
Paul Pogba looks almost certain to leave Old Trafford when his current contract expires at the end of the season. At the same time, Donny van de Beek’s future also remains clouded in uncertainty, although it does look like he might get a proper run-out in the side now that Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is no longer at the helm. However, with Nemanja Matic also ageing, a new midfielder would be necessary for the Red Devils.
De Jong, to that end, is seen as an ideal option, with Manchester United even willing to offer €55 million for his services. However, as per the report mentioned above, Barcelona will demand a transfer fee of €70 million for the 24-year-old. While manager Xavi is reluctant to let the midfielder go, there is also an understanding within the club that the financial situation calls for drastic measures.