Frenkie de Jong has doubled down on his intention to snub a move to Manchester United by reportedly telling his team-mates "it’s impossible that I leave Barcelona."
De Jong, 25, is Erik ten Hag's no.1 priority in the summer transfer window but negotiations with Barcelona have proved arduous. Amid the real prospect of financial turmoil, the La Liga juggernauts are desperate to recoup the £65million they forked out for the Ajax ace in 2019.
A continuous habit of overinflated wages and poor dealings in the transfer market have led to a perilous situation at the Camp Nou. As well as losing star man Lionel Messi on a free transfer last summer, club captain Gerard Pique is still owed £42.5m in backdated salary payments – cost-cutting in Catalunya is now a must during the window.
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Top earner De Jong is seemingly the one to be sacrificed. Still only 25, the Netherlands international still has a high resale value with Ten Hag remaining firm on his desire to bring him to Old Trafford.
Barcelona were hoping a bidding war would entail to boost his transfer fee, but the Red Devils are the only outfit to have propped up their interest with an offer. Man Utd have now agreed an initial £63million deal with Barcelona, which could rise by a further £7m, for his signature. Though there is one problem – he won't sign the documents.
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Having recently proposed to partner Mikky Kiemeny and settling down in the Pedralbes district, De Jong is content with his life on the Spanish coast and does not want to uproot to Manchester. Spanish outlet SPORT allege the Dutchman is determined to see out his contract and has told his team-mates "it’s impossible that I leave Barcelona."
Already on an eye-watering £354k-a-week deal, De Jong is in-line for a bumper increase should he enter the fourth year of his contract. This is in addition to the £17m Barcelona owe for waived wages and bonuses during the covid-19 pandemic.
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