FC Barcelona are looking to sell Frenkie de Jong, according to almost all reports. But the player, for one reason or another, does not want to leave, despite an agreement already in place with Manchester United over his transfer fee.
Barcelona want to reign in wages under a new salary structure under Joan Laporta as club president, and De Jong’s salary is said to be too high for that.
If they cannot sell him, the club will be forced to sell off more assets (the famous “third lever”) in order to have enough money to register new signings such as Raphina and Robert Lewandowski.
Another option has emerged — selling Marc-André ter Stegen. The German is one of the best paid keepers in the world of football. That could alleviate the problems, but it is not known whether there would be buyers ready to pay a good fee for him, or whether the player himself would accept the move.
And there’s another complication. While De Jong is not seen as a nailed-on starter with Sergio Busquets, Pedri, and Gavi in the team, Ter Stegen is Barcelona’s #1 keeper.
While De Jong made due as a centerback off the bench, Ter Stegen has started every preseason match so far when available. Iñaki Peña is back on loan after a successful loan spell at Galatasaray, but he’s probably too green to take over full-time as the starting keeper. Barcelona are also said to be in talks to sell Neto, who was last year’s #2 but has been demoted to third-choice.
As such, Barcelona would be very likely to have to dip into the transfer market to find a new keeper, even if only to have a backup to Peña. Although most likely, the Catalans would be looking for a starter.