Manchester United legend Gary Neville has shared his thoughts on the Frenkie De Jong transfer saga, stating that the Barcelona midfielder has always preferred staying at Barcelona, but if he has to move, he wants to go to Chelsea or any big London club.
The former United captain states that he heard this information “third-hand” while he was out in Miami during Barcelona’s pre-season tour half-a-month back.
In his tweet, Neville mentioned, “I was in Miami when Barca were there playing two weeks ago and I got told (third hand) De Jong preferred staying at Barca or Chelsea and London. Wasn’t a concrete source but this follows that thought.”
While Neville kept this information with him for quite some time, he has now come ahead and stated it as rumours of Chelsea moving for De Jong have surfaced.
The Dutchman remains Erik ten Hag’s top transfer target this summer and United have already agreed a deal with Barcelona, but there have been issues on the player’s side.
Talks between Manchester United and Barcelona have come to a standstill in the past few weeks after it was reported that the Blaugrana owe him €17m in wages from a Covid-19 pandemic deferment agreement.
Meanwhile, De Jong was selected by Xavi to travel to Barcelona’s pre-season programme in the United States.
He also featured in the starting XI when Barcelona beat the New York Red Bulls 2-0 on Sunday.
Speaking after that game, Xavi provided an update on De Jong in his press conference as he said, “I don’t know if he’s going to stay here. There’s still time and a lot of things can still happen.”
“At the moment, he’s part of the team, like everyone else. The fact that he played as a central defender in the other games was not a sign that he was leaving. I don’t need to send signals on the pitch. I can speak directly with my footballers.”
Reports from Spain’s El Larguero stated that, “Barcelona will clearly tell Frenkie de Jong to leave the club. The exit operation must be accelerated in the club to avoid LaLiga problems registering signings.”
Manchester United have also been given a silent hint by Joan Laporta with regards to the deadline by which Frenkie de Jong must move out of Barcelona.
Laporta said that Barcelona must register their squad for the new season by August 13.
With just over 10 days to go, it remains to be seen if Manchester United pull off a miracle in order to land Erik ten Hag’s primary summer target.
The Red Devils will begin their Premier League season against Brighton and Hove Albion at Old Trafford on the coming Sunday.
They then take on Brentford before hosting Liverpool at Old Trafford on August 22
Featured Image Credit: alamy
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