Barcelona ‘trying to guilt trip Frenkie de Jong’ as Man Utd hold out transfer hope

De Jong quizzed on Man Utd transfer links

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Barcelona have been criticised for their handling of the Frenkie de Jong transfer saga and accused of trying to ‘guilt trip’ the midfielder into joining Manchester United this summer. The Netherlands international is currently reluctant to leave the Nou Camp for Old Trafford. However, Erik ten Hag’s side are still holding out hope they can bring the 25-year-old to the Premier League.

Manchester United have spent the whole summer pursuing De Jong, who was swiftly identified as their top transfer target back in May.

They’ve managed to agree a fee with Barcelona after weeks of negotiations, with the Red Devils prepared to pay an initial £63million plus £8m in add-ons to land their man.

The problem is, however, that De Jong doesn’t want to go.

As a young child, he often vacationed in Barcelona. And he’s happy living there with long-time partner Mikky Kiemeney, who he recently proposed to.

Barcelona also owes De Jong £17m in wages, which is believed to be a sticking point, yet that hasn’t stopped Xavi’s team from spending big on the likes of Robert Lewandowski and Raphinha.

And, now, a ‘high level football agent’ has slammed Barcelona to GQ, accusing them of trying to ‘guilt trip’ the midfielder into leaving so they can balance their finances.

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“It’s outrageous what Barcelona are doing,” they’re quoted as saying. “It’s morally wrong.

“He’s already taken a pay cut and deferred wages. They are trying to guilt trip a player into going.

“It is not Frenkie de Jong’s issue that Barcelona were so badly run.”

Barcelona’s finances are rocky at present due to the mistakes of the Josep Maria Bartomeu era.

Under their former president, the Catalan giants overpaid for many players – and failed to get bang for their buck.

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While Ousmane Dembele has signed a new contract, he’s never been the huge hit many expected upon arriving from Borussia Dortmund back in 2017.

Barcelona spent around £130m on bringing in Philippe Coutinho from Liverpool the following year but the Brazil international never lived up to expectations before being offloaded to Aston Villa this summer.

And Antoine Griezmann flopped, too, despite being touted for greatness when he swapped Atletico Madrid for Barcelona in 2019.

Barcelona have moved to improve their situation, however.

They’ve sold off some of their image rights, while Spotify have also been brought on board to sponsor both their shirts at the Nou Camp.

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And with De Jong currently reluctant to move to United, it’ll be interesting to see what happens.

The publication says that, at present, the Red Devils don’t have any alternatives to the 25-year-old lined up such is their determination to seal a deal.

But that hasn’t stopped rumours from arising about two other players.

Speaking recently, talkSPORT host Alex Crook claimed United admire both Ruben Neves and Youri Tielemans – of Wolves and Leicester respectively.

He said: “I think they should probably walk away sooner, to be honest, bearing in mind the first contact between Manchester United and Barcelona was the middle of May – we are almost in the middle of July.

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“This is a ridiculous situation. It has been a saga for too long. Either it’s going to happen or it’s not.

“I know Manchester United have a back-up list. Youri Tielemans is on that list, as I understand it, as is Ruben Neves from Wolves.

“I would call Barcelona’s bluff now and say ‘either you sell him to us, or we will pay the same money and sign Ruben Neves’.

“He’s a player who is proven in the Premier League.”

Another player who has been linked with United is Paris Saint-Germain star Leandro Paredes.

But he’s also being tipped to join Serie A giants Juventus, who have already snapped up the likes of Angel Di Maria and Paul Pogba this summer.

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