Decoding the transfer saga of Barcelona's Frenkie de Jong
Barcelona mid-fielder Frenkie de Jong has been in the headlines for quite some time now in the ongoing 2022 summer transfer window. Frenkie is wanted by Manchester United and was always their priority signing. The English club has a deal agreed with Barcelona but there are several obstacles still left. Also, Barca have made it complicated with the situation they are in. Here's more.
- Man United manager Erik ten Hag wanted de Jong to bolster his side's mid-field and this led to the club chase the player from the onset.
- United and Barca saw difference in valuation and add-ons which was finally resolved this week.
- Now, despite a deal in place, there are several complications as things keep getting complicated.
- This might pan out in different ways.
United have agreed a £63.5m deal with Barcelona for de Jong but there is still no guarantee if the transfer will be completed. There will also be a further £8.5m in add-ons. United agreed on paying more amount upfront, having earlier submitted a lesser proposal.
Now despite the two clubs agreeing on a transfer, de Jong has no intention to leave the club. He has always intended to stay at Barca and wants Champions League football. He is also admired by manager Xavi, who sees the former as a primary asset in his side. Frenkie's agents have also let Barca know that the player doesn't want to leave.
There is a contractual issue involving Frenkie and Barcelona. As per BBC, Frenkie deferred his wages during the coronavirus pandemic which are due to be repaid over four years. He delayed receiving the funds to help the financially troubled Barca and the money was expected to be given back over the course of a new four-year contract which is about to take effect.
Barca wanted Frenkie to stay, despite negotiating with United. However, they made it clear that if Frenkie stays, he will need to lower his salary. This is something Ousmane Dembele has done before agreeing to sign a new deal. However, Frenkie doesn't want to lower his salary given the deferred wages issue is also there. He is keen to play for Barca as well.
Earlier this month, Barcelona president Joan Laporta said: "[De Jong] is a Barca player and unless we have a need or interest in selling him, we don't want to sell him." He added: "We know he [De Jong] has offers. If at some moment we were interested, we would consider it, but right now, we're not selling the player."
Laporte made the above statement wanting United to pay more money upfront as there was an impasse. Barcelona need to sell highly-paid players to balance the books. It was reported earlier that the two clubs had a £56m fee, plus add-ons in place for Frenkie. However, he played hard ball which led to United improving the money to be paid upfront.
Barca want to sell Frenkie to make money after investing dearly on Raphinha and wanting Robert Lewandowski as well. They have had a busy window with plenty of incomings and more players are now being expected to leave to balance things. Barca need to come to an understanding with Frenkie in terms of his deferred wages. Paying the amount is the best way forward.
Frenkie is adamant to get his wages back, besides not having an intention to leave or lower his salary. There are two ways here. 1) He lowers his salary and stays back, besides getting the deferred wages over the next few years. 2) Stay adamant and have his way to test Barca's resolve. But staying at the club and being unhappy will be catastrophic.
United have alternative targets should the Frenkie deal go awry. The Premier League outfit is willing to give the situation more time to resolve itself before thinking about the next step. They have done their work and now it's up to Frenkie and Barca to find a way. Reports in Spain suggest Barca have told Frenkie he needs to leave for financial reasons.
Frenkie completed a £65m move to Barcelona in 2019 and has since then gone on to make a total of 140 appearances for the club, winning the Copa del Rey in 2021. He has scored a total of 13 goals, including eight in La Liga. He has made 12 assists. The 2020-21 season was his best, scoring seven times and providing five assists.