Manchester United’s high-profile move for Barcelona and Netherlands star Frenkie de Jong could have serious implications for several other clubs during the summer transfer window.
The Dutch midfielder has been a long-term target for the Red Devils after the club saw World Cup winner Paul Pogba depart on a free transfer at the end of his contract along with Nemanja Matic, Juan Mata and Jesse Lingard.
New United boss Erik ten Hag is hoping to make a splash with his first deal however, with de Jong being the club’s priority target this summer to bolster their ranks in the middle of the park.
Barca manager Xavi rates de Jong highly but Spanish outlet Sport are now reporting that a deal worth around £68milion is very close to being agreed between United and the Catalan giants, paving the way for the Dutchman to come to the Premier League and join ten Hag’s project at Old Trafford.
That deal could have wide-reaching implications for the rest of the clubs in the Premier League and not least Arsenal, who are currently battling Barca for the transfer of Brazilian winger Raphinha from Leeds United.
The Whites are said to be looking for around £65million for their star man but until now, financial problems have seemed to hold Barcelona off from formalising a move for the wide player.
Ousmane Dembele’s potential exit to Chelsea was seen as a way around this, with the Spanish club using the money generated from that sale towards Raphinha’s transfer, though it now seems the French international is keen on remaining in Catalonia.
Instead, it might be de Jong’s sizable fee that gets the ball finally rolling again for Barca, which spells bad news for Arsenal.
Raphinha is said to have had a contract agreement with Xavi’s side for several months now and, according to the Athletic, would prefer a move to Spain instead of staying put in the Premier League, but club president Joan Laporta has been unable to sanction the move while they wait for the money to become available.
With this in mind, a reported €35million formal bid for Bayern Munich striker Robert Lewandowski doesn’t seem to have gone down well at Elland Road, suggesting that if Arsenal are serious about signing Raphinha from under Barcelona’s noses, they should move quickly.
Of course, a deal for Manchester City striker Gabriel Jesus for £45million seems to be the focus for Mikel Arteta and Edu right now, though should United make their move for de Jong official in the coming days then the clock will start to tick on a move for Jesus’ compatriot Raphinha.
The Brazilian has so far been coy on his future, claiming that it is all up to his agent Deco and Leeds.
“I have a contract with Leeds until 2024, my future is in the hands of Deco and Leeds,” he said while on international duty with Brazil.
“I have my mind set on the national team, on the game and also on my vacations. I have a contract with Leeds and this issue is resolved by my agent. When there is something, he will tell me.”
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