Barcelona appear to be running out of magic pixie dust to sprinkle on their financial spreadsheets, which could lead to a proper disaster come squad-registration time. With no more levers to pull at the moment, they might have to do things the old-fashioned way, and generate some income in the transfer market instead.
The one obvious name in that vein is Frenkie De Jong, who’s being pressured to take a wage cut, or to be more accurate probably, being pressured to leave by being pressured to take a wage cut. The 25-year-old midfielder has been strongly linked with Manchester United all summer, but Chelsea have been in the conversation as well, and could in fact have the edge thanks to the player’s preference.
| Frenkie De Jong will probably join Chelsea.@gerardromero [ ️]— Managing Barça (@ManagingBarca) August 6, 2022
While De Jong’s said to want to stay, he apparently would prefer the Blues were he to leave, even over a reunion at United with his former Ajax head coach, Erik Ten Hag. These sorts of things can often change or end up not mattering too much in the end of course, but words like “likely” and “probably” are being thrown around by various Barca-whisperers, and that’s not a terrible place for us to be.
| JUST IN: Frenkie De Jong will likely leave FC Barcelona next week.@gerardromero [ ️]— Managing Barça (@ManagingBarca) August 6, 2022
If De Jong leaves, he won’t do so for cheap, though Barcelona’s interest in Marcos Alonso could be helpful in lowering the fee a bit: €70m (and Alonso) is one such bit of speculation, for example.
As with Fofana, these sorts of prices at positions of arguably non-immediate (or non-desperate) need are certainly eyebrow-raising, but hopefully we know what we’re doing!