Frenkie de Jong's comments 'cause surprise' at Barcelona amid Manchester United transfer chase
Frenkie de Jong has continued to profess his love for Barcelona so far this summer whenever he is linked with a move to Manchester United.
But his relations with Barcelona are not exactly rock solid, with the La Liga club widely reported to be ready to listen to offers. The Guardian report talks are ongoing between the two clubs.
First team manager Xavi was quoted by ESPN last month: “He is a fundamental player, but then there is the financial situation of the club.”
Now after De Jong’s comments last week following the Netherlands international win over Belgium, Barcelona have been left taken aback by the midfielder’s comments, AS report.
De Jong’s comments ’cause surprise’ at Barcelona
De Jong was the star of the show when Netherlands beat Belgium on Friday night, providing an assist in a 4-1 UEFA Nations League win.
Speaking to NOS after the game, De Jong said: “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.”
These comments are reported to have ruffled a few feathers at Barcelona.
AS report De Jong’s statements ‘were received with some surprise within the Blaugrana club’.
De Jong is even blamed for the negative situation he describes, with AS reporting: “In the club it is considered that a player with his extraordinary abilities should have already taken a step forward in the team and become the absolute reference. However, that step has not yet been taken, due to one circumstance or another.”
The major problem De Jong has faced at Barcelona is the presence of Sergio Busquets, who plays as a deeper lying midfielder and is the first player receiving the ball from the defence – the role De Jong states he prefers with Netherlands.
Manchester United know all about players who just don’t fit the system, having spent six years trying to find a role for Paul Pogba.
United’s current midfield is a blank canvas for new manager Erik ten Hag to create, and he reportedly wants De Jong to lead the changes.
With an intrinsic knowledge of De Jong’s game from his time managing him at Ajax, and no Busquets-like figure blocking his path, the Dutchman could be a success at United.
The midfielder’s comments upsetting the Barcelona hierarchy can only be good news for Manchester United’s pursuit.