In the aftermath of Manchester United’s protracted pursuit of Frenkie de Jong last summer, it appears that the tides may be turning in favour of a reunion between the Dutch midfielder and his former mentor, Erik ten Hag. As the transfer window rolls around, Ten Hag, now at the helm of the Red Devils, is said to be eyeing de Jong once more, with the stars seemingly aligning for the midfield maestro to swap the Nou Camp for Old Trafford.
It’s no secret that Barcelona’s financial stability has been shaken, and it may well be this precarious position that paves the way for Ten Hag to secure his dream signing. Reports emerging from Spain indicate that United’s interest in de Jong may be reignited as the Catalan giants’ financial troubles deepen.
Mundo Deportivo suggests that in order to make any new signings this summer, Barcelona must first recoup approximately £176 million. The club is said to be considering renegotiating the contracts of some of its highest earners, including de Jong and Marc-André ter Stegen. This would entail offering contract extensions with reduced salaries, in a bid to make crucial savings ahead of the summer transfer window.
Though de Jong’s current contract runs until 2026, Barcelona’s proposal is believed to include a two or three-year extension, securing the 25-year-old’s future at the Nou Camp well into his thirties. However, this wouldn’t be the first time the Dutchman has had to take a pay cut to help the club balance its books; he previously agreed to a reduction in wages during the coronavirus pandemic.
But for de Jong, the latest request for financial sacrifice might prove a step too far. It may well be the catalyst for him to seriously contemplate taking on a new challenge under Ten Hag at Manchester United.
The likelihood of this reunion hinges on Ten Hag steering the Red Devils back into the Champions League at the first attempt. Currently, United are in a strong position to secure fourth place in the Premier League, despite a late surge from Liverpool.
A return to Europe’s elite competition would be a significant boon for Ten Hag’s transfer ambitions, even if the elusive de Jong ultimately slips through his grasp once more. And as the summer window approaches, United fans will be keeping a keen eye on developments, in the hope that Ten Hag can finally bring the Dutch dynamo to M16.