Manchester United could inadvertently weaken rivals Manchester City if they buy Frenkie de Jong from Barcelona, with the Catalan side looking to reinvest the money on Ilkay Gundogan and Bernardo Silva.
De Jong has been linked with a summer exit as Barcelona look to rebuild the squad under Xavi, while also bailing themselves out of a financial mess. But despite this, they're constantly linked with quality signings to replenish those they're looking to get rid of.
And the Dutchman has been one of them, with United linked ever since Erik ten Hag took over as manager. Barcelona are holding out for £70million to sell De Jong, with the intention of throwing the money right back at City, according to Cadena SER, via Sport.
United have already seen a £60m bid rejected by Barcelona for De Jong, with the Catalan side holding out for closer to £70m. And that's because they're reportedly looking at Gundogan and Silva to bolster their side.
Gundogan is out of contract at the end of next season, and the 31-year-old could be sold by City for a relatively modest price if they can secure a replacement. However, signing Silva will not be as straight forward, as the 27-year-old has a deal that runs until 2025.
Silva was one of the standout players in the Premier League last season, and after being linked with a move away last summer, he quickly reminded Pep Guardiola and the rest of the world exactly what he has to offer.
But Barcelona are at risk of blowing their chances all together while playing hardball over the sale of De Jong, as United are reportedly already assessing other midfield options. According to the Manchester Evening News, United are adamant they will not overpay for De Jong, and might walk away from the deal if Barcelona don't relax their stance.
It seems like a dream for Ten Hag to reunite with Donny van de Beek and De Jong at United, as the former Ajax boss brings his former stars back into the mix. But if Barcelona don't cooperate then both sides could lose out.
United know the situation that Barcelona are in, so they're probably expecting them to crack. But the Spanish side don't want to let their assets go too cheaply, especially after taking a £125m loss on Philippe Coutinho already.
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