Barcelona midfielder Frenkie de Jong is reportedly likelier to join Manchester City instead of cross-town rivals Manchester United if he leaves the club this summer. This is according to Catalan outlet Catalunya Radio who feel the Sky Blues are now leading the race for the Dutchman’s signing.
The future of Frenkie de Jong, 25, at Barcelona has been under intense speculation throughout the summer, with the La Liga heavyweights keen to offload him in order to balance their books after witnessing worsening finances. Despite the club’s recent approval of selling their merchandising and television rights that will pump around £600-700 million pounds into the club’s finances, there is an expectation that the midfielder will be sold in this transfer window.
Manchester United boss Erik ten Hag has reportedly made De Jong his no.1 transfer priority as he looks to rebuild the squad after a disastrous past campaign. The Netherlands international was initially reluctant to move to Old Trafford due to a lack of Champions League football but the idea to reunite with Ten Hag and regain his mojo has softened his stance of late.
However, as per Catalunya Radio, there appears to be a twist in the tale, with Manchester City now open to proposing a swap deal to Barcelona for De Jong with Bernardo Silva. Barcelona boss Xavi Hernandez is a big admirer of Bernardo Silva and would be in a position to welcome the Portuguese playmaker with ‘open arms’ to strengthen his midfield, the report adds.
Silva has reportedly discussed with manager Pep Guardiola and Manchester City officials of his desire to try a new challenge elsewhere. He has a price tag similar to De Jong’s valuation of £80 million with £20 million in add-ons.
There’s every chance of De Jong playing under Guardiola at the Etihad Stadium next season should Man City and Barcelona reach an agreement. The Dutch midfielder, who scored four goals and contributed five assists in 46 appearances for the Blaugrana last season, is an admirer of Guardiola, the report further states.
It wouldn’t surprise me if a swap deal with Silva involving De Jong goes through, with the latter seemingly unwanted in the Catalan revolution under Xavi next season.