Manchester United target Frenkie de Jong included in Barcelona's tour squad

Manchester United target Frenkie de Jong has been included in the Barcelona squad for their pre-season tour.

The Athletic report that de Jong’s move to United now hangs in the balance despite Barca telling him to leave the club.

The report names other players Barcelona have put up for sale – Martin Braithwaite, Oscar Mingueza, Riqui Puig, Neto and Samuel Umtiti – who have not been included in the touring party.

That indicates that de Jong’s situation is different, and potentially provides a barrier to his protracted switch to Old Trafford.

Photo by James Williamson – AMA/Getty Images

De Jong will be on Barcelona tour

On the other hand, we all know that there is still plenty to be done in terms of getting de Jong over to United.

That means it would make sense that he would be included like a fully fledged member of Xavi’s squad until the switch happens.

Also, it is good from United’s point of view that de Jong will get some pre-season action, rather than potentially coming in undercooked.

Obviously, it would have been ideal if he was in Erik ten Hag’s pre-season programme, getting used to the tactical ideas of the man he worked with Ajax.

Photo by Erwin Spek/Soccrates/Getty Images

Earlier this week, pundit Jamie Redknapp said to Sky Sports,: “I’d put him in the top two or three midfielders in the world, I think he’s an unbelievable signing.

“He went to Barcelona it didn’t quite work out, for a number of reasons, but it doesn’t mean hes not an incredible player.

“He’s young, and having worked so closely with the manager at Ajax, he’ll play just in front of the back four and he’s the sort of player that’ll make things happen and drive with the ball.

“He’s so creative with his passing, got real pace as well, I think he’s going to be an amazing signing for them. I’m really excited about that for the Premier League.”

That indicates why United are so keen to get him and they will not be put off by him going on tour, even if it makes the pursuit that bit harder.

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Sam Preston is an NCTJ gold standard news and sports journalist who studied with the Press Association. He also has a 2:1 law with French law degree from the University of Birmingham, which included a year studying at Bordeaux Montaigne University. He is an FA Level 1 football coach who appeared on the BBC’s Victoria Derbyshire show in 2018 and has also written digital football content and match-day programme pieces for Colchester United, Mansfield Town and Stockport County.