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Manchester United: Fresh twist in Frenkie de Jong transfer saga as fee agreed

Manchester United manager Erik ten Hag looks on before an exhibition football match against Melbourne Victory in Melbourne on July 15, 2022.
(Image credit: MARTIN KEEP/AFP /AFP via Getty Images)

Manchester United (opens in new tab)'s long-running pursuit of Frenkie de Jong has taken another twist after Barcelona (opens in new tab) included the midfielder in their pre-season tour of the USA.

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.

FC Barcelona's Frenkie De Jong looks on during a training session at the Accor Stadium in Sydney on May 24, 2022, ahead of a friendly football match between FC Barcelona and A-League All Stars.

(Image credit: SAEED KHAN/AFP via Getty Images)

Speaking to the media as Barca unveiled Raphinha following his arrival from Leeds (opens in new tab), Laporta said (opens in new tab):

"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...?

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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...