Barcelona and Manchester United are closing in on a breakthrough in talks for the transfer of Frenkie de Jong.
The 25-year-old has been Manchester United’s top target this summer and Barcelona have been open to a sale due to their financial situation and their desire to sign Bernardo Silva, who manager Xavi Hernandez believes would be a better fit tactically into his plans.
Negotiations with Manchester United have been going on for a while, but an agreement has not been reached. Barça have already dismissed an opening offer for the Dutchman but recent reports have indicated that the two teams are getting close to finalising a deal.
Amidst this, there has been a fresh development as reports in England (h/t Sky Sports), which claim that Barcelona tried to request the inclusion of defender Harry Maguire as part of the deal for de Jong, but Manchester United have swiftly rejected such a proposal.
This is not the first time that Maguire has been linked with Barça, who are in the market for defensive reinforcements this summer. Jules Kounde has been the top priority but the Catalans are facing complications in pursuit of the Frenchman due to Chelsea’s interest and Sevilla’s asking price.
So, it would only be natural for the Blaugrana to keep their options open. And it seems like Maguire might have been one of the fallback alternatives that they are looking at.
As per the report, Barcelona wanted Manchester United to include Maguire as part of their offer for de Jong. However, the Premier League giants have dismissed the possibility of such an operation, with the transfer set to be an only-cash deal.
Manchester United are reportedly ready to offer a fixed sum of €80 million plus variables to lure de Jong from Barcelona. While the two clubs are close to reaching an agreement, the English heavyweights must still convince the player to make the switch, which could be a challenge.
As for a player-exchange deal involving Maguire, it is clearly off the table.