No transfer saga has caused more speculation to swirl than the one concerning Frenkie de Jong and his future at Barcelona this summer. The Dutchman is wanted by a number of clubs, just not his own according to widespread reports with the Camp Nou outfit believed to be keen on selling the midfielder.
Manchester United made de Jong their primary target for the summer transfer window with new manager Erik ten Hag desperate to be reunited with his former Ajax player in the Premier
Chelsea have also been linked with de Jong during the summer transfer window. Thomas Tuchel has already rejuvenated his attack and defense since the end of last season and is now seemingly intent on adding another dimension to his midfield. De Jong would be a good addition. He would give Chelsea something they currently lack.
De Jong’s stance has remained consistent throughout the transfer window – he wants to stay at Barcelona. The 25-year-old is reportedly owed €17m in deferred wages and is not willing to forego this money to ease Barca’s financial problems. It’s been reported that if Barcelona were to pay these wages, de Jong would entertain the idea of a switch to another Champions League club, ruling out United as an option.
There is, however, another Premier League which, in theory, would be an excellent fit for de Jong. Manchester City need a midfielder in the mold of the Dutchman, so why haven’t they made their sales pitch to de Jong this summer? He would be perfect for Pep Guardiola’s team as they look to make changes to their style of play.
Erling Haaland’s arrival at the Etihad Stadium has changed the focus for City this season. Previously, City’s forward thrust was in the wide areas where Gabriel Jesus and Raheem Sterling would stretch the pitch and create space for others through the middle. Now, though, Haaland is the one providing verticality as the number nine.
To get the best out of Haaland, City needs a central midfielder who can carry the ball and break the lines. Guardiola has excellent technical operators who can keep control of a match through their passing ability, but someone like de Jong would create overload and create opportunities for Haaland.
On top of this, Manchester City have a player Barcelona want – Bernardo Silva. The Catalans have chased the Portuguese international all summer, but have been put off by City’s asking price. It would be argued that both Barcelona and Manchester City would benefit from sending de Jong in one direction and Silva in the other.
City find themselves at the beginning of a new era. Haaland’s signing represents something different for the Premier League champions and Guardiola must build a system to harness the Norwegian center forward. The addition of de Jong would help in this regard. City should have made an offer by now.