Barcelona head coach Xavi has praised Frenkie de Jong amid speculation that he is a summer transfer target for both Manchester United and Manchester City.
When asked about the Dutch international’s future at a press conference, Xavi said he was an important player but he caveated his remark by mentioning Barca’s finances, indicating that a sale could still be possible:
“For me, Frenkie is a great player, he’s a beast – I like him and I think he can be part of an important era of the club. We will see the economic situation of the club… but I like De Jong.”
Quite a few United fans on Twitter believe Xavi is signalling that de Jong is for the sale, and they believe the praise is designed to bump up the price tag:
This sounds like he is for sale at the right price.
— Charles (@charles612) May 21, 2022
This is an invitation @ManUtd
— Anonymous (@Anonymo69524941) May 21, 2022
He has changed his tone drastically… before he was adamant that Frenkie was untouchable, no suspiciously it’s changed.
— ChrisScoi (@Official_Pixels) May 21, 2022
He’s hyping him so we get to pay more for him.
— Osunde andrew (@osundeandrew20) May 21, 2022
He wants to sell him
— NUNGUA BURNA (FACTOS RONALDO) (@viewsdey) May 21, 2022
He’s either trying to drive up value, or genuinely wants to keep him. Either way, the fact they keep mentioning their economic struggles at every press conference suggests United, if we get the chance, will overpay by about £30m when any other club would abuse Barca.
— Ollie (@nine3ollie) May 21, 2022
So far there’s a but, he’s definitely leaving.
— Martial⭐🌟 (@AdegbolarM) May 21, 2022
The more he hyped him the more he drives the price up. Even if they don’t plan to keep him
— || Yzerman approved || (@TrollyOlly7) May 21, 2022
De Jong £65m or move for Neves £45-50m that’s what need to happen. Got a number of positions what need sorting can’t be messing about with a deal
— Darryl Lally (@Darryl_lal) May 21, 2022
From the look of things, United manager Erik ten Hag is keen on being reunited with his former Ajax player, and it does seem as if Barcelona would be amenable if the Red Devils make a good enough offer for the 25-year-old. Reports suggest that the La Liga side may demand as much as €75m (£63.5m) for the player so it remains to be seen if United will match that figure.