Frenkie de Jong’s Man Utd move opens window for Barcelona to sign eight midfield options
Barcelona ace Frenkie de Jong is reportedly being eyed by incoming Manchester United boss Erik ten Hag, who wants to reunite with the former Ajax midfielder at Old Trafford. Ten Hag managed the 25-year-old in the Netherlands for 18 months before selling him to the Catalan giants for a staggering £65million.
De Jong has impressed at the Nou Camp in spells but has mainly struggled to fulfil his potential since moving from Holland – so Barcelona could decide to cash in on him now and bag some much-needed funds. And Express Sport takes a look at eight midfielders Barca could sign instead.
Paul Pogba looks set to leave the Red Devils this summer when his contract comes to an end – but his destination remains a mystery. The 29-year-old has been tipped to return to France to sign for Paris Saint-Germain. But Barca would no doubt jump at the chance to land such a talented player on a free transfer.
If Barcelona want players for free, they could try to thrash out a deal for Pogba’s United team-mate Jesse Lingard. Lingard is the same age as Pogba and would come with the added benefit of being able to play further forward if needed. And his wage demands wouldn’t be anywhere near those of Pogba’s.
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Christian Eriksen joined Brentford in January after his contract with Inter Milan was cancelled due to Serie A rules which prevent players taking to the pitch if they have been fitted with an implantable cardioverter defibrillator. Eriksen has impressed during his return to the Premier League but will be free to move on at the end of the season. And the 30-year-old could be keen to show he still has what it takes to perform at the top of the game.
Gini Wijnaldum left Liverpool to join PSG on a free transfer last summer. But his career has stalled in France and he has struggled to maintain a regular starting place in Mauricio Pochettino’s team. Wijnaldum failed to get on the pitch during either leg of his team’s Champions League last 16 showdown with Real Madrid earlier this year. And the 31-year-old could be tempted to jump ship if Barcelona boss Xavi comes calling.
Speculation around Youri Tielemans’s future has been rife for months, with Leicester looking increasingly likely to lose him this summer. Arsenal and Real Madrid have both been linked with the 25-year-old – but a move to the Nou Camp could prove too alluring for the star to turn down.
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Cesc Fabregas is currently plying his trade for Monaco after quitting Chelsea in 2019. But he’s barely played this season due to a string of injuries and fitness problems. The 35-year-old has already enjoyed two spells with Barca after coming through the club’s academy and could return for a third time before taking up a coaching role in Spain.
Bernardo Silva is another player who has reportedly attracted interest from Barcelona, with Xavi said to be a big fan of the Portugal international. Silva has already told his Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola that he wants to leave England and could be the sort of player who excels at the Nou Camp.
Barcelona have also been linked with Real Sociedad midfielder Mikel Merino. But the 25-year-old has three years remaining on his current contract – so the Catalans would need to shell out the cash to get their hands on him.
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