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Barcelona boss Xavi has given subtle hint on Frenkie de Jong's future amid Man United interest

By Daniel Murphy

Barcelona manager Xavi appears to have confirmed that Frenkie de Jong's future is out of his hands as Manchester United weigh up a move for the midfielder.

MEN Sport understands that United are considering a £75million bid for De Jong, with incoming manager Erik ten Hag identifying his former player as an ideal target. The 52-year-old helped nurture De Jong's career at Ajax, to the point that he earned a big-money move to Barcelona in 2019.

United have made contact with the Catalans about De Jong's availability. The club wants to recruit a new midfield quickly this summer to replace the departing Paul Pogba and Nemanja Matic, though sources have indicated that a deal is not imminent.

ALSO READ: Alejandro Garnacho and Manchester United give fans what they have been waiting for in FA Youth Cup final

De Jong looked to be the perfect style of player to thrive at Barcelona thanks to his brilliant passing ability and similarity in philosophy at Ajax but, though many outside factors have contributed, it hasn't gone quite as well as expected for the 25-year-old. He has remained a regular starter this season, though, and Xavi — the player De Jong was tipped to succeed at the Camp Nou — wants him to say.

However, the Spaniard has seemingly suggested it may not matter what he wants when it comes to keeping De Jong at Barcelona. Speaking last month, Xavi was asked about De Jong's future and his claim of 'if it were up to me, I would continue here for many more years' indicates that his club may look to sell even if he doesn't approve.

"I haven’t talked with him about his future," Xavi admitted. "He is playing at a very good level and has to continue here – he can be one of the best midfielders in the world for years to come.

"If it were up to me, I would continue here for many more years. He is very important and can mark an era here. He has to score, assist and he has to be the protagonist."

Barcelona's financial situation remains fraught and they will likely have to raise funds through player sales this summer if they wish to make any signings of their own, which makes selling De Jong a feasible prospect.

Thanks to the emergence of midfield prodigies Pedri and Gavi, the Dutchman may no longer be a necessity to the side so it could allow the Catalan club to cash in one of their few expendable assets that would still fetch a high price.

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