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Manchester United in Barcelona for De Jong talks

Manchester United CEO Richard Arnold and the club’s director of football John Murtough are in Barcelona for more Frenkie de Jong talks.

De Jong.
Mark KolbeGetty Images

According to Jijantes, Richard Arnold and John Murtough, CEO and director of football at Manchester United, respectively, had lunch this Monday lunchtime in Barcelona with Mateu Alemany, Jordi Cruyff and Rafa Yuste to attempt to make progress in the deal for Frenkie de Jong.

Jijantes also explained that Arnold and Murtough were also in Barcelona last Thursday for talks with the Blaugrana officials. The operation has been ongoing for many weeks, with Chelsea appearing as outsiders in recent days.

The meeting confirms that De Jong’s departure is quite likely and the information comes just a couple of hours before the Dutch midfielder is due to meet his team-mates and the Barcelona coaching staff for the first time since the holidays. De Jong already knew then that the club’s plan was to sell him and that Xavi had given the green light for the move.

Barcelona targeting more players

De Jong will be one of the economic levers that the club, in addition to the sale of up to 25% of its television rights, will activate in order to be able to deal with the signings sought by Xavi. Jules Koundé, Robert Lewandowski and Raphinha are all top targets at Camp Nou. It remains to be seen what the final figure for the transfer to Old Trafford will be. There has been talk of €80 million, but it remains to be seen how much United will pay and what the variables will be.

De Jong disappointed

De Jong is aware that his sale is almost a given after president of Barça, Joan Laporta, made it a condition for him to reduce his salary, a humiliation that the Dutchman does not intend to go through. United will therefore have to agree to each and every one of the player’s salary demands for the deal to be completed. De Jong is said to be hurt by the treatment that the club has been giving him in recent months, a club where he thought he could achieve success after his move from Ajax.