De Jong to Man Utd gathers pace after La Liga president tells Barcelona to sell before they buy
Premier League clubs are circling Barcelona for their star players after it was revealed they will have to sell before they buy in the summer transfer window.
Barcelona have been struggling financially for a few years now and have mostly been limited to signing players who are out of contract.
Saying that, they managed to sign Jules Kounde, Robert Lewandowski and Raphinha for a combined £140million last summer.
That spending has crippled the Blaugrana ahead of the 2023 summer window, according to La Liga president Javier Tebas.
“We have strict economic controls,” Tebas said. “At the end of each window, we tell all the clubs in La Liga what they can spend.
“In the case of Barcelona, they have to drop from spending on wages and transfers from €650m to €450m- so it’s a budget of minus €200m (£178m).”
And in a desperate attempt to balance the books, the Catalan club may be forced to offload their most valuable players.
According to The Sun, as many as ten players could be sold to eradicate some of the club’s debt.
The report first mentions former Leeds United winger Raphinha – who was a top target for Chelsea and Arsenal before he secured a dream move to the Nou Camp.
Man Utd have also been linked with Raphinha in the past and Barcelona would be expected to receive a great fee should he be sold.
Arsenal continue to be linked with the Brazil international and could be in the market for a new winger despite the January signing of Leandro Trossard.
Another name who is (obviously) mentioned is midfielder Frenkie de Jong.
Everyone knows that Man Utd tried to bring him to Old Trafford last year, but dramatically failed to do so.
The Red Devils agreed an €85m fee with Barcelona, however, the Dutch playmaker was less than keen to make the switch to Manchester.
This summer may be different considering Man Utd’s transformation under Erik ten Hag this term.
It has been reported this week that Ten Hag still wants to sign his former Ajax player – who is one of the club’s ‘top summer targets’, according to talkSPORT.
Barcelona appeared to be very open to letting De Jong leave in 2022 – knowing he is one of their highest valued players – and it would not be surprising to see a similar saga in a few months’ time, though the result may be different should Man Utd qualify for the Champions League as expected.
There is also some speculation growing over Robert Lewandowski’s future at the Nou Camp.
The report states that boss Xavi has ‘questioned’ the Polish striker’s ‘motivation’ prior to the club’s Europa League tie against Ten Hag’s side.
Chelsea are likely to be in the market for a new no. 9 and have been linked with Lewandowski in the past.
Other players expected to depart are Samuel Umtiti, Clement Lenglet, Alex Collado and Sergino Dest – who are all currently out on loan.
Meanwhile, Premier League-linked forward Ansu Fati could be another player sacrificed by Barcelona.
Journalist Ben Jacobs recently claimed that Fati would cost ‘somewhere in the region of €100m’ this summer.
Midfielder Gavi and former Man City forward Ferran Torres are the other two players who could leave Barca to raise funds.
Gavi was linked with a move to the Premier League – mainly Liverpool – before he signed a new contract last September.
Torres was reportedly an Arsenal target in January before the Gunners signed Trossard from Brighton.
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