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Xavi 'gives green light for Frenkie de Jong to join Manchester United'

Xavi 'gives green light for De Jong to join Man United'
© Reuters
Barcelona manager Xavi reportedly gives the green light for the club to sell Frenkie de Jong to Manchester United for €75m (£64m) this summer.

Barcelona manager Xavi has reportedly given Frenkie de Jong the green light to move to Manchester United this summer.

The emergence of teenage starlets Gavi and Pedri has let to greater competition in the Blaugrana midfield this season, but De Jong has remained a regular fixture in the engine room.

The Netherlands international has racked up four goals and five assists from 45 appearances in all tournaments this season - starting 29 La Liga games for the second-placed Blaugrana.

De Jong remains contracted to Barcelona for another four years, but his future has been called into question in recent weeks amid suggestions that Man United are keen on signing him.

Furthermore, the Catalan giants are set to welcome Franck Kessie to the club as a free agent from AC Milan, and Xavi is reportedly keen to further bolster his midfield options.

Barcelona coach Xavi on March 20, 2022© Reuters

As a result, Cuatro Deportes now indicates that the Barcelona manager has given his blessing for De Jong to join Man United, seeing his Blaugrana stint end after a three-year spell.

Given the club's dire financial situation, Man United were supposedly set to secure the 24-year-old's signature for a cut-price figure of £51m in the upcoming transfer window.

However, the report adds that Barcelona will instead pocket €75m (£64m) for the sale of De Jong, who has 'not achieved what was expected of him' following his arrival.

The former Ajax man, who has amassed a total of 13 goals and 17 assists in 138 games for Barcelona, is said to be open to his imminent departure as he prepares to reunite with Erik ten Hag.

De Jong rose to prominence under Ten Hag at Ajax and played an integral role in his side's run to the 2018-19 Champions League semi-finals before joining Barcelona for £77.4m in the summer of 2019.

Barcelona midfielder Frenkie de Jong pictured in January 2021© Reuters

Barcelona have also waved goodbye to Philippe Coutinho - whose departure to Aston Villa on a permanent basis was announced on Thursday - and have supposedly identified Bernardo Silva as an ideal replacement for De Jong.

The Dutchman would arrive at Man United at the same time as Paul Pogba, Juan Mata and Jesse Lingard's exits as free agents, while Nemanja Matic will also move on in June.

De Jong's signing could reportedly be announced by the Red Devils before the end of the season, and his next and final game for Barcelona could therefore be next weekend's La Liga clash with Villarreal, as he will serve a suspension in Sunday's meeting with Getafe.

As well as De Jong, Ten Hag is also believed to be keen to strike a deal for ex-Ajax defender Matthijs de Ligt, who left for Juventus at the same time as his compatriot's move to Barcelona.

Ralf Rangnick's side will be aiming to secure a sixth-placed finish in the Premier League when Crystal Palace make the journey to Old Trafford on the final day of the season on May 22.

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