Manchester United’s ambition of signing Barcelona’s Frenkie de Jong could easily be realised this summer.
According to the latest report from Corriere dello Sport, via The Faithful MUFC, the La Liga giants have a debt of more than €1bn (£848m) and are required to “bring this to an acceptable level” before June 30.
As per the report, Barcelona president Joan Laporta needs to sell players in this summer’s transfer window in order to reduce the Blaugrana’s wage bill and make way for signings who can strengthen Xavi’s squad further.
After the sale of the Nou Camp club’s record signing Philippe Coutinho to Aston Villa, it is said that De Jong could indeed be next out the door and is ‘close’ to securing a deal to join United, but he will likely not be the last to leave.
On the other hand, it is also reported that Laporta is still optimistic of improving the financial situation at Barcelona without having to sell any key players, saying: “We are working. If we manage to settle the accounts with the operations we are preparing, no player will leave for economic reasons.”
With the latest news in mind, United have a fair chance at signing a player who could be their next talismanic figure in the mould of a Luka Modric, with FBRef categorising the two as stylistically similar playmakers.
Whilst De Jong’s average of 56.7 passes completed per 90 is not far behind Modric’s average of 65.43, his averages of 1.5 key passes, 5.59 passes into the final third and 7.06 progressive carries per game are similar to the Croatian’s 1.63 key passes, 7.35 passes into the final third and 6.73 progressive carries per 90.
It’s also worth noting that the Netherlands international has registered a slightly higher pass completion percentage over the past year than the Real Madrid veteran, with his 90.3% success rate pipping that of the 35-year-old, who boasts a pass completion percentage of 88.3%.
It takes some doing to beat a pass master like the Croatian, and with De Jong’s ability, he would make for a sure-fire astute signing for United for what looks to be a fee of £58m.