Manchester United's attempts to sign top target Frenkie de Jong frustrated by Barcelona who refuse to sell Dutch midfielder unless they can prise Bernardo Silva from Manchester City as a replacement

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Manchester United's attempts to sign top target Frenkie de Jong frustrated by Barcelona who refuse to sell Dutch midfielder unless they can prise Bernardo Silva from Manchester City as a replacement

  • Manchester United's attempts to sign Frenkie de Jong are being frustrated 
  • Barcelona want Manchester City's Bernardo Silva to replace the Dutchman 
  • And with City unwilling to sell for cut-price fee Xavi is unable to land his man
  • But the Dutch midfielder has already described Barca as his 'dream club' 

Manchester United’s efforts to sign Frenkie de Jong are being complicated by Barcelona manager Xavi wanting Manchester City’s Bernardo Silva as a replacement.

Barca’s financial problems mean their club bosses are happy to sanction a £70million deal for de Jong to join United and rejoin his former Ajax boss Erik ten Hag.

However the deal is still in doubt with the Dutch midfielder reluctant to leave the Nou Camp for a club outside the Champions League and the stance of Xavi who will only give his blessing if Bernardo arrives instead. 

Having played under him at Ajax, Frenkie de Jong is reportedly top of Erik ten Hag's transfer list

Having played under him at Ajax, Frenkie de Jong is reportedly top of Erik ten Hag's transfer list

Having played under him at Ajax, Frenkie de Jong is reportedly top of Erik ten Hag's transfer list

De Jong, 25, is a priority target for new United boss Erik ten Hag this summer as he looks to strengthen the spine of his team, but he faces an battle to sign him, with the silky performer having insisted he is already at his 'dream' side.

However, his comments after his country's 4-1 victory over Belgium, a game in which he delivered an eye-catching performance, may hand the Red Devils the impetus.

Speaking to NOS post-match, De Jong opened up on his preferred style of play.

Ten Hag managed de Jong in 59 games including a stunning Champions League run in 2018/19

Ten Hag managed de Jong in 59 games including a stunning Champions League run in 2018/19

'I like to be the first player to receive the ball from the defenders. In the national team I play differently compared to Barca. And I think this one fits me better,' he said.

He was also quizzed on whether the goal with Holland is to get on the ball 'as much as possible' during games, to which he responded with: 'Yeah, sure.'

Barcelona want Bernardo to replace de Jong

Barcelona want Bernardo to replace de Jong

His remarks could put his potential suitors on red alert, and hint that his future lies away from the Nou Camp. PSG have also reportedly joined the race to sign him.

De Jong, however, has told ESPN: 'I prefer to stay with Barcelona. Barcelona is just my dream club. Also from a young age. I just said it too. 

'I've never regretted my choice despite the fact that I had hoped for more in terms of prizes than I've achieved so far. But I have never regretted my choice.' 

Bernardo’s contract at the Etihad runs until 2025 putting City in a strong position to ask for a hefty fee for their Portuguese international.

Talks continued yesterday between United and Barcelona with agreement on De Jong’s valuation moving closer but the player will still need to be persuaded.

Laporta could then ignore Xavi’s wishes but that would still be a gamble given the manager’s status at the club and throughout the city

Xavi may have been handed a boost after de Jong described Barca as his 'dream club'

Xavi may have been handed a boost after de Jong described Barca as his 'dream club'

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