That's despite Barca reportedly agreeing on Thursday to sell the Dutchman to United for a guaranteed £63m – a fee which could rise to over £70m, according to The Athletic (opens in new tab).
With personal terms yet to be agreed, could this be a sign that De Jong's future might yet lie in Catalonia? After all, the 25-year-old is said to be reluctant to move to Old Trafford.
And Blaugrana president Joan Laporta insisted on Friday that the club are under no pressure to offload De Jong, even with their precarious finances leaving them in a position where they really ought to be raising funds through sales.
"It is not true that the club is forced to sell Frenkie de Jong. His trip to the US will be decided by Xavi."
Earlier this week, Spanish outlet AS (via Metro) (opens in new tab) claimed that De Jong's relationship with Xavi has become more fraught than ever – so is he in his manager's longer-term plans or simply there to make up the numbers in pre-season?
Time will tell – and with the transfer window still open for another six-and-a-half weeks, dare we say there's time for further twists yet...?
Thank you for reading 5 articles this month* Join now for unlimited access
Enjoy your first month for just £1 / $1 / €1
*Read 5 free articles per month without a subscription
Join now for unlimited access
Try first month for just £1 / $1 / €1
Tom Hancock started freelancing for FourFourTwo in April 2019 and has also written for The Analyst and When Saturday Comes, among others. He supports Wycombe Wanderers and has a soft spot for Wealdstone. A self-confessed statto, he has been known to watch football with a spreadsheet (or several) open...