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Manchester United’s hopes of signing Frenkie de Jong took a turn for the worse last week after the Dutchman stated his desire to stay at Barcelona following links to Old Trafford. However, with Robert Lewandowski telling Bayern Munich he wants to leave and being wanted by the Blaugrana, their precarious financial position could see De Jong sacrificed for the Polish star.
Having faltered at the Nou Camp since his move from Ajax in 2019, and with former coach Erik ten Hag joining United ahead of the new season, links were formed that could have seen De Jong revitalise his career at Old Trafford. The 25-year-old is one of many midfield stars that the Red Devils are in the market for, although it remains unclear as to who will join the club in the summer.
That possibility was shunned when he stated his desire to stay in Catalonia early last week, but with the Telegraph stating Barca’s interest in Lewandowski, that could change soon. The Polish star, who has scored 35 goals in just 34 Bundesliga games this season, is reportedly pushing to leave the German giants this summer after an eight-year spell.
Barcelona are said to be the side in the lead ahead of various Premier League clubs for his services, although no deal has been agreed. Yet with Xavi’s men in the hot seat to take his signature, their poor financial position – which saw Lionel Messi, Antoine Griezmann and Emerson Royal leave on permanent deals in the summer – could provide a stumbling block.
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A deal to see Lewandowski move to the Nou Camp would ‘increase’ Barcelona’s desire to ship De Jong out, even if he wishes to stay. And with Lewandowski considered by many as the world’s best striker, Barcelona feel they would be put on a pedestal with rivals Real Madrid and English giants Manchester City, who will both boast Karim Benzema and Erling Haaland respectively in their ranks next season.
De Jong was billed as a generational talent whilst at Ajax, and his £65 million move to Barcelona was heralded upon its completion in 2019. But a constant turnover of managers has made it hard for him to realise his potential.
Manager Xavi spoke out about De Jong’s future earlier this month. “I have said many times that Frenkie [De Jong] is very important. He’s a key player,” the Barcelona boss said.
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“Then there is also the financial situation of the club and it has to be decided. I’m not talking about Frenkie, in general.”
Barcelona will compete in next season’s Champions League after finishing second in La Liga.
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