Uncertain future in Barcelona for Frenkie de Jong
Dutch star Frenkie de Jong may have his world turned upside down after Barcelona has not ruled out the sale of the Ajax Amsterdam product as the Xavi regime turns its wheels in a unified direction on and off the pitch.
Per existing reports, Barcelona’s interest in Manchester City centre-back Aymeric Laporte could give birth to a potential swap deal sending De Jong to the Etihad Stadium with Laporte returning to Spain in the other direction.
🚨 ¡EXCLUSIVA de @10JoseAlvarez! 🚨
➡ "FRENKIE DE JONG está en VENTA"
— El Chiringuito TV (@elchiringuitotv) November 16, 2021
Barcelona is rumoured to have put De Jong in the shop window as early as November after the club viewed him as a potential source for a serious cash injection into the coffers in Catalunya.
According to The Athletic, some inside the club’s hierarchy are hopeful of a big sale involving De Jong with a possibility of cash-injected Newcastle tabling a bid for the Dutch international;
“Some around the club would also seriously consider a big offer for Frenkie de Jong, with teenagers Pedri, Gavi and Nico all needing space to develop in midfield. The hope around the Nou Camp remains that Newcastle United, or a similar club with loads of money that are keen to spend, will help them out”
But two other Premier League clubs could – and should – look to hijack any interest from the Magpies in favor of a more notable destination; Arsenal, and Manchester United.
Dutch star the ideal long-term replacement for Granit Xhaka
Frenkie de Jong remains one of the most gifted young midfielders in Europe regardless of whichever bookend is applied to his tenure with Barcelona, and his profile would suit Arsenal to the ground.
Many would automatically rule the Gunners out regarding the fee it would likely require to secure his services given Barça are hopeful of making a profit on the ~£72million they spent on him just two summers ago, as well as Arsenal remaining in the hunt for a long-term option at centre-forward.
But if Mikel Arteta’s young guns were to add De Jong among its ranks, it would offer an immediate upgrade both currently and in the future over key central figure Granit Xhaka.
Xhaka continues to be an influential figure for Arsenal both on and off the pitch under Arteta, but there are no guarantees that the Swiss international will not once again seek a move away from north London in the summer as he did just a few months ago.
De Jong is highly capable as both a holding midfielder as he is in a double-pivot in a two-man midfield, but his technical quality, effectiveness at controlling the ebb and flow of possession, and creativity from deeper areas would make him an ideal candidate to pick up the midfield mantle from Xhaka.
Van De Beek reunion at Man United
Regardless of their own issues this season, Manchester United remains one of the gargantuan of football; not just in England and Europe, but globally as well.
The Red Devils are hardly shy about splashing the cash to bring in the biggest available names at any given moment, and De Jong would certainly fit that bill not just in reputation but also validity regarding the ongoing project at Old Trafford.
In desperate need of an upgrade in quality in the centre of the park as well as the notion that star man Paul Pogba is always just three inches away from an exit, De Jong would certainly bring much of the missing technical and creative quality lacking at United despite the arrival of Ralf Rangnick this winter.
More importantly, potentially, would be the pull of former clubmate Donny van de Beek who is still on United’s books; though no one knows exactly for how long that reality could remain.
The pair of Dutch internationals shone together for Ajax and played vital roles in the club’s run to the Champions League semi-finals in 2018-19 as part of a three-man midfield that also featured Danish international Lasse Schöne.
Their bond on the pitch has continued at international level in service of their country as well, and though Van de Beek has hardly had the time of his life in the northwest of England, securing De Jong could not only give United a brilliant player added to their ranks, but an avenue to perhaps get the very best out of a player in Van de Beek who is gifted in his own right.
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