Regardless of what was said surrounding finances and even of what Xavi Hernandez has said, the feeling was always that any exit for Frenkie de Jong depended most on the player’s decision.
With Barcelona struggling for funds and de Jong struggling to stamp his presence on the team, logic dictated that the club would consider a sale. In this case, Manchester United have the money available to prise him away from Barcelona. The decisive factor was whether United and Erik ten Hag could persuade him to leave his dream club and Champions League football behind.
According to The Mirror, the Dutch manager has achieved just that. De Jong had previously said that he was not considering leaving but there is a general acceptance that the Blaugrana have not used his full array of skills. It’s something the player acknowledged himself while on international duty.
Ten Hag has made this point to de Jong and explained that he would be the central piece of his project at Old Trafford. Better than any other manager de Jong has had, ten Hag has shown he can deploy the midfielder in his best role. Winning the Dutch Cup, the Eredivisie and making the Champions League semi-final, ten Hag and de Jong were both a large part of each other’s most successful spell.
If the deal does happen, only time will tell who made the correct decisions. Yet from Barcelona’s perspective, it’s imperative that they get the best out of de Jong as soon as possible if he is to stay. Should that be something they can’t achieve, then a hefty financial package makes sense at this point in time.