FC Barcelona wanted to push Frenkie de Jong to Man Utd to defuse financial difficulties and register new recruits, but the Dutch midfielder refused.
Even in persuading De Jong to leave, Barca still had to streamline the squad to register Dembele, Raphinha, as well as recruit new recruits such as Robert Lewandowski or Cesar Azpilicueta.
In the summer of 2021, Barca experienced a similar situation. They can only register Sergio Aguero, Memphis Depay and Eric Garcia close to the start of the 2021-2022 La Liga season, after Gerard Pique reduced his income.
In January 2022, the Owner of Camp Nou continued to ask Samuel Umtiti to reduce his salary to register new recruit Ferran Torres.
In the summer of 2019, De Jong joined Barca from Ajax for $78 million, scoring 13 goals in 140 games, winning one title – the 2020-2021 Spanish King’s Cup.
The 25-year-old midfielder is Ten Hag’s top target in the rebuilding of Man Utd.
De Jong played under Ten Hag at Ajax, and was a mainstay of the club’s double win in the Dutch league and the Dutch Cup in 2018-2019, as well as reaching the semi-finals of the Champions League.
According to The Athletic, Man Utd A delegation, including chief executive Richard Arnold and director of football John Murtough, was sent to Barcelona to directly negotiate the De Jong deal.