The Dutch midfielder is likely to turn down a move to Old Trafford even if a fee is agreed
Frenkie de Jong is unaware of the fuss surrounding his future but his priority is to start pre-season with Barcelona and get back to work under Xavi Hernandez.
Dejong will return to the city this weekend and return for medical tests on Monday alongside the other players who were on international duty earlier in the summer.
The Dutch midfielder isn’t exactly sure how the saga will end, but he is aware that Manchester United aren’t high on his list of options. There are many reasons why he is likely to say ‘no’ to a move to Old Trafford:
1- He bought a house in Pedralbes
De Jong has just bought a new property in Barcelona, a house in Pedralbes, one of the most desirable areas in the city. The player made such an investment because he believes that if he plays for Barça he has many more years ahead of him at Barcelona.
2- His partner, Mikky Kiemeney, loves Barcelona and has strong ties to the city
De Jong’s partner Mikky Kiemeney is very happy at Barcelona. She loves it here and has adapted quickly to the city. She can’t imagine leaving now. De Jong and Mikky are very happy where they are. They already have strong connections in the city and many friends. They also like to visit other parts of Catalonia when they can. You recently got engaged.
3- His dream club is Barça, not United
Like many Dutch players, Frenkie De Jong always dreamed of playing for Barça. Ever since he was a kid. With Johan Cruyff’s shirt and other greats from his homeland. In contrast, he could never have imagined playing for United, as big as English clubs are.
4- No Champions League
If he went to Manchester United he wouldn’t play in the Champions League. That’s a big factor for one of the best midfielders in the world. He has to be among the best – and the best are in the Champions League.
5- United are jinxed
De Jong respects United as a historic club but also feels they have been bewitched in recent years. Despite the money being invested in players and coaches, they are struggling to make it back to the top of English football, let alone European football, where they spent two decades under Sir Alex Ferguson.
6- The Manchester weather
De Jong and his partner love living in Barcelona and this is partly due to the climate and pleasant temperatures all year round. In Manchester there is less sun and more rain. The climate plays a role in his decision. Also the fact that Manchester is not as attractive a city as Barcelona.
7- Convinced he can deliver for Xavi
At Ajax, de Jong played very clearly. He had the freedom to move and drive back to front with the ball at his feet. He knew he had protection behind him. Xavi doesn’t want him to have that much freedom, he wants him to be more static at times and play more positionally. It’s important for Xavi that all players, especially the midfielders, have a specific role and movement on the pitch. De Jong believes he can adapt to what Xavi wants. The two have had many conversations about this.
8- Barça Salary
De Jong has a good salary at Barça. It’s difficult for other clubs to keep up. He joined in 2019 and grossed $14 million annually. But during Covid-19 there was a 12% drop to 12.32 million. De Jong also gave up a large amount during this period because he would be paid later. He received 3 million in 2019/20 and 9 million in 2020/21. Far from the 14 million he promised. Because of this, he is owed 18 million next season as Barça start paying him back. He also owes loyalty bonuses.
9- Doesn’t like that he leaves the campaign
The player feels that a campaign has been created to leave Barça. And he doesn’t like the ‘bullying’ that pushes him towards the English league. And what hurts the most is that no one from Barcelona has personally told him anything about leaving. Neither the board nor the recruitment team.
10- Contacts between Barça and United
De Jong also regrets the movement behind his back. The contacts between Barcelona and United, the pressure from Ten Hag who wants him at all costs… Obviously he will answer if the English club calls but his camp hasn’t negotiated anything with the Red Devils.
These are the reasons why De Jong has practically ruled out a move to United if he is ousted by Barça. The Chelsea interest is different. Life in London, Champions League football, a squad with great players, young players and a top manager.