It is not all doom and gloom at Manchester United. Cristiano Ronaldo’s desire to leave certainly jolted fans and that was further exacerbated when Barcelona president Joan Laporta announced that they had no intention to part ways with midfielder Frenkie de Jong despite reports stating that the deal was close to fruition.
“There are many clubs that want him, not just Man United. We have no intention of selling him, he wants to stay. I’m going to do everything to keep Frenkie, but there’s also a salary issue and that would have to be adjusted,” were his exact words.
But those comments seemed to be a smokescreen and Laporta has been known not to keep his word in the past. And now Spanish publication Sport have reported that the Catalan giants are looking to sign Manchester City midfielder Bernardo Silva as he is Xavi’s top target this transfer window.
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The deal will cost the Blaugrana a minimum of €85-€95 million with City holding out for €100 million. The Spanish giants are in severe financial distress and they will not have the funds to pull this off without additional cash injection.
And that cash will come from United. Laporta and the club are still pressing ahead with negotiations for the Dutch midfield maestro and only if the De Jong deal goes through will the Nou Camp outfit be in a position to negotiate for their main man.
City boss Pep Guardiola is a huge admirer of Silva and he was the reason behind Silva agreeing to stay back at the Premier League champions last season despite his desire to leave.
His contribution was immense – featuring in 50 games while scoring 13 and providing seven assists. Not to mention the fact that he has a contract until 2025 which means City have no reason to sell their star asset.
Frenkie deal a ‘must’ for both clubs
According to another report from Marca, Barcelona wants to build the best possible team to allow Xavi the chance at attaining silverware. That includes buying multiple players in all parts of the pitch. Bayern Munich striker Robert Lewandowski and Leeds United attacker Raphinha are among the major targets while in defence, the likes of Andreas Christensen and Jules Kounde are priority signings.
A part of these deals can be financed with the amount of money the club will get from selling a 10 percent stake in their La Liga TV rights for the next 25 years to the US private equity group Sixth Street for €207.5 million.
Sale of a further 15 percent is also on the anvil which will likely hand Xavi a budget of €20o million to work with. Those, however, will still not cover for Bernardo’s impending arrival with the De Jong deal the potential life-saver.
The former Ajax midfield operator had no desire to leave the La Liga club and always wanted to establish himself under Xavi. But after receiving feelings about his potential sale and the club looking at other targets, he started reconsidering his stance.
New United boss Erik ten Hag’s offensive charm was the icing on the cake which meant he was ready to consider the Red Devils’ proposal. A broad agreement has been in place for sometime with an upfront payment of €65 million to be made along with potential add-ons worth another €20 million.
It is a great deal for both sides and it will help alleviate Barcelona’s financial woes allowing them to concentrate on incomings while for the record English champions, the deal represents a step in the right direction after a slow start to the transfer window.