Man Utd and Chelsea receive Frenkie de Jong boost as Xavi offers transfer verdict

Premier League transfer spending higher than last season

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Manchester United and Chelsea’s hopes of landing Barcelona midfielder Frenkie de Jong could soon be reignited, with Xavi set to ask the player to leave in order to fund his side’s remaining transfer business, according to reports. The uncertainty around De Jong’s future at Barcelona has snowballed into the saga of the summer, with United still believed to be trying to snap him up in spite of his desire to remain at the Nou Camp in advance of the new season.

Chelsea have also been credited with an interest in signing De Jong, with Thomas Tuchel hoping to add midfield reinforcements before the Premier League campaign gets underway in early August. Barcelona remain open to selling the player in order to raise some much-needed funds and Xavi is set to plead with him to change his stance against a move elsewhere over the coming days, according to Relevo.

It is claimed that Xavi is preparing to ask a handful of Barcelona players to leave the club following their pre-season friendly win over Real Madrid in the United States on Saturday night. One of those in question is said to be De Jong, who has previously insisted that his personal preference would be to stay at Barcelona for the foreseeable future.

Barcelona are looking to finance a big-money move for Sevilla defender Jules Kounde, who is believed to be edging towards a move to the Nou Camp after initially looking set to join Chelsea after weeks of protracted negotiations. Xavi’s plan is to cash in on De Jong as a matter of priority and use the funds raised to snap up Kounde in order to improve his defensive ranks ahead of the new season.

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Xavi has already hinted that he will be looking to sell De Jong in the not-too-distant future in spite of his admiration for the player, who he still holds in the highest regard but knows that a move away would benefit the club’s transfer plans for the campaign ahead.

“I don’t send messages, I have spoken with him,” said the Barcelona boss after Saturday’s victory over Real Madrid. “I value him very much, for me he is a fundamental footballer.

“But then there is the economic situation and fair play. He can give us a lot in central [midfield], I like him in that position.”

It remains to be seen whether De Jong will ultimately be shipped out by Barcelona over the next few days if he can eventually be convinced to seek a new challenge elsewhere. United are said to have already settled on a transfer fee with the Catalan giants but are yet to agree personal terms with the midfielder and his representatives despite the pull of a reunion with Erik ten Hag, who managed him during his time at Ajax.

De Jong has been a top target for United since the end of last season but a move to Old Trafford still appears to be some way off at this stage of proceedings. The Red Devils will be desperate to secure his signature before the return of Premier League football in order to bed him into their first-team preparations in advance of their first competitive fixture against Brighton and Hove Albion.

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