Barcelona will still need to reduce their wage bill next season according to La Liga President Javier Tebas – giving Manchester United hope they could still sign Frenkie de Jong in 2023. The Red Devils spent the majority of the summer chasing the Dutch international with new boss Erik ten Hag desperate to be reunited with his former Ajax prodigy, but the 25-year-old preferred an extended stay at the Nou Camp instead.
United publicly pursued De Jong for most of the summer after he was identified as the key player the club needed to make their midfield tick. He was an instrumental man for Ten Hag during his run to the Champions League semi-finals with Ajax in 2019 and would bring much-needed technical improvement to the base of the Red Devils’ midfield trio.
Barcelona initially looked open to letting the player leave as they looked to reduce their wage bill and raise the funds required to bring in other reinforcements. The Catalan giants accepted a bid of around £64million from United for his services in July.
However, the deal stalled after the Netherlands’ star was unconvinced by the project underway at Old Trafford and did not want to leave the Camp Nou until he had been paid an overdue wage bill of £17million made up of payments deferred to help the club through the Coronavirus pandemic.
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“Or they make more levers, which I don’t think because they run out heritage, or reduce salary mass. We’ll see what can arise from the sale of players. It is very difficult or impossible for him to maintain it next season.”
It remains to be seen whether Barcelona’s current plight will be enough for United to get themselves back in the race for De Jong. However, the Old Trafford faithful will currently be content with the current performances of their midfield trio, with new signing Casemiro still yet to be fully integrated.
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