Barcelona’s pursuit of Manchester City midfielder Ilkay Gundogan could reportedly give Manchester United a greater chance of securing a deal for Frenkie de Jong this summer.
It’s no secret that Erik ten Hag is a huge fan of the Dutch midfielder, who was sensational under him at Ajax, so it wouldn’t be a surprise to see the Red Devils go back in for him this summer.
It would be ironic to see Man City give their rivals a helping hand in the transfer market, but with Gundogan looking set for a switch to Camp Nou, they may do just that.
As previously reported by TEAMtalk, Pep Guardiola has reportedly opted against offering Gundogan a contract extension and therefore will be available on a free transfer this summer.
Barcelona’s spending in the transfer market is still significantly limited due to ongoing off-field issues, meaning it makes sense for Xavi to offload some of his more valuable players and bring in players on the cheap as replacements.
As a result, the Man City star could be the ideal signing for the Catalans, with it looking likely that De Jong could reunite with his old manager at Old Trafford next season.
Ten Hag still wants De Jong
As mentioned, Man Utd’s interest in De Jong dates back to last summer, when they had a £72m deal in principle agreed with Barca.
However, the midfielder instead opted to remain in Spain for the season. But, as reported by the Mirror, De Jong is once again at the top of Ten Hag’s summer shortlist.
They note that while 25-year-old’s preference is still to remain at Barca, that situation could change in the coming months.
Ten Hag allegedly sees De Jong as the ideal midfield partner for the likes of Casemiro and Christian Eriksen, who have been a revelation at Old Trafford this season.
Marcel Sabitzer has also proved to be a smart addition, who is currently on loan from Bayern Munich. However, there is no guarantee that he will remain at Man Utd permanently, with Thomas Tuchel reportedly keen on keeping him at the German club.
This will leave a void in the Red Devils squad and there is no doubt that Ten Hag would love to bring in De Jong, but despite Barca’s ongoing financial woes, his signature will not come cheaply.
According to Transfermarkt, the Catalans are expected to demand a fee in excess of £60m for the Dutchman, even if they do bring in Gundogan on a free transfer, as expected.
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