Manchester United manager Erik ten Hag could finally sign Barcelona midfielder Frenkie de Jong this summer after the comments from La Liga president Javier Tebas.
Ten Hag was keen on a reunion with his former Ajax star last summer. United agreed to pay an initial fee of £63 million for the 25-year-old but he refused to accept terms.
This proved a blessing in disguise for United as they signed Casemiro from Real Madrid instead. The Brazilian has been superb with his defensive and offensive contributions.
Ahead of the summer, it has been reported that Ten Hag is still interested in pursuing De Jong and United have been handed a big boost due to the Blaugrana’s financial concerns.
The La Liga outfit managed to overcome their woes with financial levers last summer but Tebas has now insisted that the club won’t be allowed to spend without player sales.
In a press conference in London, Tebas said that Barcelona need to lower their wage bill by £177 million and would only be permitted to spend 40% of money raised from a future sale.
United had a poor end to the 2021/22 Premier League campaign as they finished sixth in the standings and 13 points adrift of the Champions League positions.
Despite the appointment of Ten Hag, De Jong was not tempted by a reunion. The situation could change this summer with United in the ascendancy under Ten Hag.
The club recently ended their six-year trophy drought by winning the Carabao Cup and are still on course to win more silverware before the end of the campaign.
United are also in a strong position to qualify for next season’s Champions League. If they manage to do so, this should further boost their chances of signing De Jong.
Barcelona were open to selling him last summer despite Xavi’s plea to keep him and we won’t be surprised if they share the same stance at the end of the season.
De Jong, who has been described as ‘extraordinary‘ by Xavi, could be tempted to join United this time around but his deferred wages of £18m need to be settled first.
The 25-year-old would provide an upgrade in United’s midfield with his strong distribution and key passes. He would be the perfect foil for Casemiro next season.