The saying goes that there is no smoke without fire and if that’s to be true, then something is going on regarding Frenkie de Jong. For the past month, sustained speculation has linked the Dutch midfielder with a departure from Barcelona, destination Manchester United.
Both in terms of fit and finances, it’s a deal that makes sense. United are attempting to rebuild their midfield following the exit of Paul Pogba, while Barcelona can potentially make a profit on an asset that has done little to grow in value since arriving three years ago.
Late on Tuesday night, well-connected Italian journalist Fabrizio Romano gave an update on negotiations, declaring that the two clubs had been talking to each other.
Notably he put placed a set price on de Jong, claiming that Barcelona want €86m for him. It’s a number that is probably within reach for United, but the fact that Barcelona want the entire fee up front is a not inconsiderable demand either.
Manchester United and Barcelona have been in direct contact today for Frenkie de Jong. Still no agreement on the fee, as Barça told Man Utd they won’t sell FdJ for less than €86m. 🚨🇳🇱 #MUFC
Barcelona want full fee guaranteed, also because of La Liga rules to reinvest money. pic.twitter.com/n6WBFk5Uxy
— Fabrizio Romano (@FabrizioRomano) June 21, 2022
The Blaugrana are currently trying to lighten the load on their salary limit, which impedes them from recruiting normally. Depending on what deals get done before the 30th of June when their accounts close, they will only be able to reinvest a third of the money they make into transfers. That will likely explain their desire for hard cash in the deal, whereas a fee in instalments would reduce their ability to recruit.