Barcelona chief Joan Laporta gives green light as Man Utd push for Frenkie de Jong deal

De Jong quizzed on Man Utd transfer links

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Barcelona chief Joan Laporta has given the green light to sign Manchester City star Bernardo Silva, it has been claimed. Any deal for the Portugal international hinges on Frenkie de Jong, however. And the Catalan giants think the 25-year-old will end up departing, with Manchester United in pole position to snap him up.

On Monday, Manchester United’s pursuit of De Jong will enter its 12th week.

The Red Devils have agreed a fee for the Netherlands international, which is believed to be worth an initial £63million, and they’re still quietly confident he’ll end up moving to Old Trafford.

De Jong is reluctant to leave Barcelona but, with the La Liga giants spending money left, right and centre, his sale is necessary.

According to Cope journalist Helena Condis, Laporta has now green-lit a move for Bernardo – who is eager to leave Manchester City for the Nou Camp this summer.

“@JoanLaportaFCB has called Jorge Mendes, representative of @BernardoCSilva, and has told him that they will advance in this operation,” Condis wrote.

“The key to this operation would be the output of @DeJongFrenkie21.”

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Barcelona wouldn’t be going for Bernardo if they didn’t think De Jong would be staying, despite Laporta insisting he doesn’t want the Netherlands international to go.

And that works in United’s favour, with the Red Devils hopeful their patience will be rewarded.

It’s been a relatively productive summer for Erik ten Hag’s side so far, with three players arriving.

Tyrell Malacia has touched down from Feyenoord, having previously looked set to join Ligue 1 giants Lyon.

Christian Eriksen joined on a free transfer from Brentford and has been given the No 14 jersey previously worn by Jesse Lingard.

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And United have also raided Ajax for Lisandro Martinez, with the Argentina international primed to challenge Harry Maguire, Raphael Varane and Victor Lindelof for a starting berth.

De Jong, however, would be the cherry on top of the cake.

Ten Hag made his former Ajax midfielder his main objective for the summer transfer window immediately after replacing Ralf Rangnick.

The duo previously had a good relationship together over in the Netherlands, helping Ajax win the Eredivisie title and reach the semi-finals of the Champions League.

And Ten Hag thinks there’s no player like De Jong, which is why United aren’t actively pursuing alternatives at the current moment in time.

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Youri Tielemans, Ruben Neves and Sergej Milinkovic-Savic have all been linked.

But United want De Jong, and De Jong only, with the Red Devils still optimistic they’ll land their man within the next month.

Meanwhile, United hero Gary Neville recently urged De Jong to consider legal advice after Barcelona asked him to reduce his salary.

The club owe the 25-year-old a huge £17m in deferred wages after he agreed to take a pay cut at the start of the coronavirus pandemic two years ago.

“De Jong should consider legal action [against] Barcelona and all players should be behind him!” Neville said on Twitter.

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“A club spending fortunes on new players whilst not paying the ones they have under contract their full money is immoral and a breach. (World players’ union) FIFPRO should be all over bullying like this and stop it.”

But former Barcelona star Marc Crosas then hit back, saying: “You have no idea what you [are] talking about.

“Barca spending fortunes on new players has nothing to do with salaries and salary cap.

“He has the right to leave, stay with the same contract, reduce it, or say NO to Man Utd. Maybe that’s what really hurts you and not Barca’s immorality.”

In a further tweet, Crosas added: “Nobody is ‘refusing to pay’. Barca is trying to renegotiate his contract the same way they did with Pique, Busquets, Ter Stegen, Jordi Alba, Sergi Roberto… Nobody complained at the time.”

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