De Jong quizzed on Man Utd transfer links
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Real Madrid have been offered the chance to sign Bernardo Silva from Manchester City – which gives Barcelona even more incentive to force Frenkie de Jong into joining Manchester United. The Netherlands international’s sale is necessary if the Catalan giants are to land the City star this summer. And with their rivals eyeing a hijack, that could prompt action.
Barcelona want to sign Bernardo this summer, with the player eager to move to the Nou Camp having been at the Etihad Stadium since 2017.
But, now, L’Equipe via Sport have claimed Real Madrid are also in the frame when it comes to securing the signature of the Portugal international.
It’s claimed Madrid have been offered the chance to land the forward, who has won four league titles during his glittering spell at the Etihad Stadium.
And despite being a regular figure in Pep Guardiola’s starting XI, a parting of the ways could be on the cards.
Barcelona have been eyeing Bernardo as a replacement for De Jong.
And news of their rivals being offered the former Monaco star has given Xavi’s side even more incentive to get rid of De Jong this summer.
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So far, the Netherlands international has dug in and refused to leave Barcelona – having been at the club ever since his arrival from Ajax in 2019.
Yet the Catalan titans may try and put more pressure on the midfielder as they hold out hope of Bernardo’s arrival.
Manchester United and Barcelona have already agreed a fee for De Jong, with the Red Devils prepared to pay an initial £63million to secure the player’s signature.
But De Jong has doubts.
While he’s played under Erik ten Hag before, he doesn’t want to join a team who can’t offer him Champions League football.
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United won’t be in that competition this term after finishing sixth amid a disastrous campaign under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer and Ralf Rangnick last time out.
De Jong also isn’t particularly interested in playing in the Premier League, either.
He may make an exception for Chelsea but, due to the climate in England, he’d much prefer to stay living in Barcelona.
Bayern Munich have also been linked but, following Robert Lewandowski’s move to the Nou Camp, relations have been soured.
If United miss out on De Jong, it’s possible they’ll pursue three alternatives.
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Sergej Milinkovic-Savic has been linked with United again, with Jose Mourinho previously targeting the Lazio star during his spell in the Old Trafford dugout.
And Youri Tielemans and Ruben Neves, of Leicester and Wolves respectively, are other back-up options.
Barcelona chief Joan Laporta, meanwhile, was asked about De Jong recently.
And he’s insisted that he’d actually love the player to stay, though admitted he’d need to make a financial sacrifice in order for that to happen.
“He wants to stay and we want him to stay. That is the most important,” he said.
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“What is clear is that we have a new salary scale and all the players have to fit into it. We are trying to make these players understand the reality of the club.
“We find ourselves with a salary mass triggered by more than 40 per cent.
“We all have to make an effort. We are going to do everything possible to make him stay and we hope that the player will also do everything possible to stay.”
And Laporta also suggested Real Madrid were scared of Barcelona, saying: “I see some rivals a little worried about how we are doing things and that means that we are doing them well.
“I respect all opinions, but it is clear that they are concerned. That is that we are becoming competitive again. We’ll see you on the field.”
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