Which players could move if he joins Man United?

Frenkie de Jong’s future at Barcelona has been of great interest this summer. Sources have told ESPN that Manchester United have agreed a €85m deal (€65m up front and €20m in supplements) to sign the midfielder, but negotiations are pending on personal terms and the player’s desire to to move have stalled. As a result, and due to Barca’s precarious financial situation, a number of other deals are awaiting resolution before any progress can be made.

Premier League giants like Manchester City, Liverpool and Tottenham Hotspur started their transfer business very early on, while Arsenal have more deals planned after the likes of Gabriel Jesus and Fabio Vieira landed, but United and Chelsea have been a little slower off the blocks. How will De Jong influence club decisions? And what could Barcelona do to replace the Dutch midfielder and improve their own squad after selling another 15% of their TV rights (which they hope to do in early July) to raise more money?

Here, our writers rate some top players whose club future could be decided once De Jong’s is up.

Christian Eriksen (free)

Eriksen’s move isn’t particularly dependent on De Jong as it wouldn’t involve a transfer fee, but it remains one United would be keen to get over the line. The feeling at Old Trafford was that Eriksen would rejoin Tottenham but after Antonio Conte backed out of a deal United were given renewed confidence. There are rumors that the Denmark international would prefer to stay in London and that he enjoyed his time at Brentford last season but United have not given up hope of signing him.– Rob Dawson.

Donny van de Beek (Man United)

The Dutch midfielder had a miserable time at United but if there’s one manager who can get the best out of him it’s his former Ajax boss Erik ten Hag. Sources have told ESPN Van de Beek will remain at Old Trafford as he feels he will be given opportunities. United are likely to sign their old Ajax team-mate De Jong, but after the departures of Nemanja Matic and Paul Pogba, Van de Beek should have chances in midfield.– dawson

Raphinha (Leeds United) / Ousmane Dembele (Barcelona)

One thing has been clear for a long time: Raphinha would love to go to Barcelona. However, the club’s transfer earnings depend on fundraising and they believe the Brazilian winger will wait until they get their finances in order, even if it means delaying a move until January. The financial paralysis at the Camp Nou initially created a delay that others believed they could take advantage of.

Arsenal had rejected (at least) two offers but the lack of an agreement with Leeds then made Chelsea feel they could strike a deal. The Blues have now agreed to match the asking price of £60m, which has put renewed pressure on Barcelona to fulfill their interest as Leeds want clarity on the situation. In the past few days, Barca have made an offer worth €45m with surcharges, but it still falls short of Chelsea’s offer and is therefore unlikely to be accepted. Raphinha might wait for Barca but Chelsea won’t wait forever.

Meanwhile, Ousmane Dembele’s contract extension is high on Barcelona’s to-do list. Chelsea have been repeatedly linked with a move for the France international striker but sources close to the club have downplayed their interest, albeit potentially significantly, without completely ruling it out. — James Olley.



Steve Nicol explains his only concern over Raphinha’s reported Leeds-Chelsea move.

Lisandro Martinez (Ajax)

Arsenal and Manchester United are leading the race for the Ajax defender. The Gunners have made two offers below the €50m valuation Ajax want and sources told ESPN that both Ajax and Martinez are waiting for United to show their hand before deciding what to do next.

United have hesitated to submit a formal offer until they know exactly how much the signing will cost De Jong, but they are expected to make a move in the coming days. Martinez worked under new United boss Erik ten Hag at Ajax and is reportedly keen on continuing that relationship. Still, a move to Arsenal remains a clear possibility, especially given the club have made their best efforts to this point and manager Mikel Arteta has made his fondness for the 24-year-old clear.– Olley.

Youri Tielemans (Leicester)

Leicester City have resigned themselves to moving Tielemans this summer as he has one year left on his contract and they need to raise funds to overhaul their squad. Leicester would most like to see the 25-year-old midfielder move abroad and Barcelona have been eyed as a possible destination in the past, although their financial situation makes it difficult.

Tottenham were interested but opted to sign Yves Bissouma from Brighton instead, meaning Arsenal could have a clear run at the Belgium international to bolster their midfield. For the time being, however, the Gunners have focused on other targets, with Fabio Vieira (£34m) and Gabriel Jesus (£45m) acquired from Porto and Manchester City respectively, while seeking an agreement with Ajax for Martinez.

Tielemans seems a logical addition for Arsenal to bolster their midfield options, but Barcelona dropping out would make a deal more achievable. — Olley.

Cesar Azpilicueta (Chelsea)

Chelsea captain Azpilicueta automatically extended his contract by a year last summer but wants to return to Spain with Barcelona this summer. However, Chelsea boss Thomas Tuchel would prefer to keep the 32-year-old after a decade of service due to his leadership skills and narrow understanding of the club.

Sources have told ESPN that Azpilicueta is torn about his future and not ruling out staying, but at the same time feels he has achieved everything at Chelsea: success at February’s Club World Cup in Abu Dhabi completed all possible victories trophy available. Azpilicueta’s wage demands are relatively low but Chelsea would demand a transfer fee should he leave, another factor that has prevented financially strapped Barcelona from making an offer to break the impasse. — Olley.

Jules Kounde (Seville)

Kounde has an €80m release clause in his contract but although Chelsea have been reluctant to pay it, their interest is real and sustained. Barcelona are also keen to sign the Sevilla defender but will only pay €45m and are exploring possible options including player swaps, installments and add-ons to lower the fee.

Sources close to Chelsea believe Kounde is waiting for the Catalans to reveal their stance before making a decision on his future. Chelsea could trigger a move by fulfilling the clause but they haven’t reached an agreement in previous transfer windows as they feel the fee is too high. Sevilla are reportedly ready to accept around €60m but it’s another situation complicated by the fact that Barcelona’s intent is yet to be matched with meaningful action. — Olley/Marsden.

Franck Kessie / Andreas Christensen (free)

Barcelona plan to announce and unveil the signings of Kessie and Christensen this week. Both will arrive as free agents after their respective contracts with AC Milan and Chelsea expire on June 30. The reason behind the delay in officially announcing their Camp Nou moves is, as with most things, Barca’s financial woes. As things stand, they wouldn’t be able to register either player for LaLiga if the season started tomorrow.

To do that, they’ll either have to sell more of their television rights (they sold 10% last week for €207.5m), cut their payroll costs, or bring in some cash through player departures. However, the fact that players cannot be registered does not prevent them from signing players. Only on the eve of last season did they manage to make room within their spending cap imposed by LaLiga to register Memphis Depay and Eric Garcia. — Sam Marsden.



Former Chelsea defender Frank Leboeuf believes Robert Lewandowski would be a perfect fit for the Blues should Romelu Lukaku return to Inter Milan.

Robert Lewandowski (Bayern Munich)

After the world-class Polish striker made it clear he wanted to leave Bayern Munich, Barcelona seemed the likeliest destination – although sources told ESPN they had rejected three offers, most recently over €40m. After talks with agent Pini Zahavi, Barca feel they ‘kept their word’ to Lewandowski by offering Bayern more than €40m, but their failure to agree on a fee could shut the door on potential suitors to open.

Sources have told ESPN that Tuchel wants Chelsea to start if there’s a possibility of Lewandowski considering a move to England. Lewandowski’s contract expires in 2023 so Bayern might grant him his move in exchange for a transfer fee but are currently reluctant to negotiate. — Olley/Marsden.

Bernardo Silva (Manchester City)

This is perhaps the transfer most directly linked to De Jong’s future. Barca remain interested in Bernardo Silva, who is believed to be open to a Camp Nou move, but there are significant hurdles to overcome for a deal to materialize.

Barca are well-manned in midfield so De Jong would have to leave to make room – and to raise money to fund a move for the Portugal international. Even then, while Pep Guardiola has said players who want to leave can leave, City would obviously prefer to keep Silva and their valuation of up to €100m could change at a time when Barca also include Lewandowski, Raphinha and Kounde pursued, proving prohibitive. — marsden Which players could move if he joins Man United?

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