Barcelona tell Frenkie de Jong to go as Man Utd transfer saga drags on

Frenkie de Jong was the driving force of Erik ten Hag’s Ajax

Barcelona have directly told Frenkie de Jong they need him to go, as Manchester United’s planned signing continues to draw out.

Such is the pressure on the player that Camp Nou teammates feel he is being treated unfairly by the club, and there is considerable sympathy for him. While De Jong accepts the reality of the situation and has spoken to Erik ten Hag about a move, his first choice has always been to stay at Barcelona, but his resistance to an exit has only been emboldened by the fact the club would owe him €17m in deferred wages if he stays.

The fact the club need him off the wage bill in order to register other huge contracts in Franck Kessie, Andreas Christensen and Raphinha, so as to meet La Liga financial regulations, only adds another element.

There is now said to be “huge tension” on all sides, which has essentially left Manchester United caught in a dispute between transfer target and club.

While there has been an argument they should walk away, there is a feeling a deal will eventually be done, while Ten Hag believes De Jong is close to unique as a player. The new United boss thinks there is almost no-one like his former Ajax midfielder in Europe, and that can accelerate progress in this first season given how much he gets what the coach wants.

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