Barcelona ‘hold Frenkie de Jong meeting’ as Man Utd and Chelsea battle for transfer

De Jong quizzed on Man Utd transfer links

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Barcelona chiefs have met with Xavi to discuss the sale of Frenkie de Jong, according to reports. The Netherlands international is Manchester United’s top transfer target for the summer window. However, Chelsea can’t be ruled out with Thomas Tuchel also hoping to add more reinforcements to his squad.

Manchester United last week agreed a fee with Barcelona for De Jong, with Erik ten Hag convinced his former Ajax midfielder is willing to move to Old Trafford.

But Chelsea have emerged as potential suitors, too, with the Blues hoping to add to their midfield as they look to win the Premier League title.

Now, according to Sport, Barcelona’s hierarchy have met with Xavi to discuss the futures of both De Jong and Memphis Depay.

Depay has been linked with a sensational return to United this summer, though the Red Devils have distanced themselves from talk of a deal.

Barcelona have hammered home to Xavi the need to sell both players as they look to balance their finances and register new recruits.

Andreas Christensen and Franck Kessie have moved to the Nou Camp from Chelsea and AC Milan respectively, having ran down their contracts.

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Raphinha has touched down from Leeds, with the Brazil international turning down moves to Chelsea and Arsenal in the process.

And, after weeks of intense negotiations, Barcelona were finally able to raid Bayern Munich for star striker Robert Lewandowski.

Both De Jong and Depay are aware of their current employers’ attempts to jettison them this summer.

And a squeeze from Xavi, the report says, could pave the way for the duo to finally depart.

Barcelona think that, if they sell the pair, they can bring in a combined £85million which would go a long way to helping them out of their current situation.

De Jong and Depay are both on big contracts over in Catalonia, meaning their sales are necessary behind the scenes.

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Initially, Barcelona had hoped to keep hold of Depay with the forward only moving from Lyon in last summer’s transfer window.

But, since then, the Catalan titans have added four new attackers to their squad – meaning the former United star is now surplus to requirements.

As well as Raphinha and Lewandowski, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang has joined – with the Gabon international moving back in January.

And Ferran Torres also left Manchester City for Barcelona, having struggled for regular action under Pep Guardiola in the Premier League.

Regarding De Jong, meanwhile, Gabriel Agbonlahor thinks the midfielder would be wise to join Chelsea over United.

“I did say last week that Spurs are looking in a better position at the moment with the signings they’ve made,” he told talkSPORT.

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“Chelsea are catching them now, Koulibaly is a great centre-back, Kounde will add to their defence, with Thiago Silva, maybe as a back three.

“I still feel like they may still need a midfielder, there’s talk of maybe De Jong, maybe hijacking that move from Manchester United, and I think he’d choose Chelsea over Man United if he had the choice.

“So I still think they need another midfielder and another striker, but the defence will be sorted with this signing.”

And he added: “I’ve been talking about Manchester United not being as much of a pull for a while now and their fans don’t like it. They can’t handle the straight facts.

“De Jong, if he’s leaving Barcelona, he does not want to go to Manchester United. There are quotes that have come out that he would rather Bayern Munich, he would rather Chelsea.

“Because if I’m choosing a team in the Premier League and I’ve got the chance of Chelsea or Manchester United, I’m choosing Chelsea.

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“I’m in London, I’ve got Thomas Tuchel who’s won the Champions League recently, you’re playing Champions League football this season, you’ve got a better squad of players.

“Manchester United have got [Cristiano] Ronaldo who doesn’t want to be there, he’s not turned up for pre-season.

“You’ve got players that aren’t performing. You’ve lost top players like [Paul] Pogba.

“They’ve got problems and it’s going to take them a while to get a chance of winning the Premier League or the Champions League.

“Does De Jong want to go from Barcelona, who will be playing Champions League football, to Manchester United, who aren’t going to be?”

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