The delicate case of Frenkie de Jong

The management of modern football can be very avant-garde at times but at other times older than an old unstitched ball.

The delicate case of Frenkie de Jong

The management of modern football can be very avant-garde at times but at other times older than an old unstitched ball. There is not much secret. Medium-sized clubs know this. If there are economic problems, nothing better than selling one of your most outstanding players to turn the red numbers into less red ones.

Joan Laporta's board continues to miss some 100 million euros of income to balance the budget that she herself approved. They have not been achieved and, having reached the month of May, the rush has entered. The Brazilian Coutinho has just been sold to Aston Villa for 20 million euros and, in the absence of activating the famous "economic levers" (selling 49 percent of BLM-Barça Licensing

The Dutchman is a starter, young and has a lot of poster in Europe. The sale of it would generate surplus value and leave room for salaries and new registrations. The operation can be very debatable from a sporting point of view, but, at the same time, tremendously seductive from a financial point of view.

The last one: they place him in Manchester United

Last Wednesday De Jong turned 25. He celebrated his anniversary for the third time wearing the Barça shirt, adding to date a total of 139 games, 13 goals, 17 assists and a Copa del Rey. The Dutchman has a contract until the summer of 2026 and a clause of 400 million euros and a change of scenery is not considered despite the siren songs that come from several European teams.

He has had the interest of three for months. It treats of the PSG, the Bayern of Munich and also of the Manchester City, but they are not the only ones. The last club that has asked for his services is Manchester United, which next year will be directed by Erik ten Hag, a coach who has already coincided with De Jong at Ajax although his great supporter was Alfred Schreuder, his second. To this day Schreuder, who was also Koeman's second at Barça and will precisely be Ten Hag's substitute at Ajax, continues to maintain a great relationship with Frenkie.

The footballer lives this series of somewhat annoying rumors. He does not like to feel that he is in the shop window because his dream is still to succeed in Barcelona, ​​a city where he feels good and very integrated with his partner. Several conversations with Xavi, one of them after the coach replaced him against Rayo Vallecano, turned out to be very satisfactory. “It's never a good sign when you have four coaches in three years. But it's never the coaches' fault when you don't play well, it's your own fault, ”said De Jong a few weeks ago in a self-critical tone, who is confident that the best version of him can consolidate with Xavi on the Blaugrana bench.

THE CLUB

In the absence of income, selling an asset is not ruled out

Almost a year and a half after being clearly chosen by Barça's partners, Joan Laporta's management team has not resolved the financial problems. His greatest achievement, the sponsorship of Spotify, does not count until next season and today the lack of estimated income is close to 100 million euros. Those that the president baptized as "economic levers" to compensate for this imbalance have been "imminent" for months, so, in the absence of them really crystallizing, the easy move, selling players, gains ground. Frenkie de Jong fits better than anyone in that hypothesis. Acquired by the Bartomeu board for 75 million euros, its sale price today would move around the same range. With a growing and very high salary, the sale of him would generate a gap for the wage bill but would not entail a large net benefit (approximately 15 or 20 million euros) since there are still quite a few million to be amortized.

COACH

Xavi appreciates him a lot and sees room for improvement

Xavi Hernández has a football diagnosis about his squad and an exit plan. But Frenkie de Jong does not appear on his casualty list, a very technically gifted footballer (one of the best) whom he considers important for his project and what he does ask of him is a greater effort to adapt to the position game, different from the more dynamic than he practiced at Ajax.

Both parties have been strengthening ties and have ironed out differences with the passing of the games. Especially after the match against Rayo Vallecano at the Camp Nou Xavi chose to replace him in the 59th minute with Nico González. A usually correct player when he is the one chosen to be substituted, De Jong got angry when he saw his number on the substitution board and left the other side of the field entering the locker room. He felt singled out by Xavi. “We had a very good face-to-face talk. It is clear that this change frustrated him, but I have to look after the team, ”said the Egarense coach, who in that conversation asked Frenkie that he should make a difference in each game. “He has played excellent games, but he has to be constant. He is capable of it because of his strength and his arrival in the area”, commented the coach, who is also aware of the complicated economic situation of the entity: “The club is working on that facet. Depending on the money we have we will do one thing or another. The situation is hard, but it is our reality”.


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