Arsenal have an advantage over Manchester United when it comes to signing Barcelona star Frenkie de Jong.
The Barcelona midfielder is reportedly available with the club allegedly in financial trouble for the second year running. Last summer saw the shock release of Lionel Messi with the club unable to afford his wages or register new players with the Argentinian on their books after his old contract expired.
And it looks set to happen again, with fresh speculation that the Spanish giants will need to move players on in order to not only register new players but to sign new contracts. De Jong, who joined from Ajax in 2019, is believed to see his future in La Liga – but as one of the more valuable players, he may be forced to move on this summer.
Should he leave, Arsenal will face stern competition from Manchester United who have recently hired Erik ten Hag. Ten Hag was in charge of Ajax when De Jong broke through the academy and is credited for his success at the first-team level, especially on that remarkable Champions League run in 2019 which saw them knock out Juventus and Real Madrid before being beaten by Tottenham in the semi-finals.
While many can see De Jong reuniting with Dutch coach Ten Hag in Manchester, the 25-year-old has spoken in the past about wanting to join the Gunners similar to one of Dutch football’s greats, Marc Overmars. Overmars left Ajax to join Arsenal in 1997 before moving on to Barcelona three years later, something De Jong had the opportunity to do back in 2019 but decided to make the jump to La Liga instead.
Speaking to Voetbal International back in 2019, he said: “I actually thought Arsenal was pretty beautiful in the past.
“In my mind, I have had the following list for a long time: Ajax-Arsenal-Barcelona, call it the Marc Overmars route. But yes, if you can go directly to Barcelona, then you are also right where you want to be. Faster than you ever dared to dream.”
De Jong could apparently be available for £58million, well below his CIES value of £76million.