We’re in the off-season for club competition, most of the international play currently being staged are meaningless friendlies, so you know what that means?
It is indeed the summer silly season, i.e. time to talk some transfer rumors, and other assorted news items. So let’s jump right in with the latest buzz surrounding Manchester United. We start with Frenkie de Jong, which is a saga that has dragged on way too long already, but seems poised to take another plot twist.
In other words, it’s about to become even more annoyingly protracted.
Last week brought news of a breakthrough in this long, tedious exercise- the two clubs had reached agreement on a transfer fee. So it appeared that this deal would wrap up before too long. However, no FC Barcelona team President Joan Laporta is posturing- maintaining his stance that the club wish to keep the Dutch defensive midfielder this upcoming season.
“Frenkie is a Barcelona player and, save there was the need to let him go him, he is not available,” Laporta said at a press event unveiling the Catalan club’s new signing, Franck Kessie.
“We do not want to sell him.
There are offers for him and if at any moment it was in our interests, we could do a deal, but that is not the case. We don’t want to sell him.”
There have been reports that Barca want to De Jong to take a pay cut, but the former Ajax player does not wish to do so. Overall, this move still could go through, as it appears what Laporta is doing right now is public theatre. It’s a stall tactic/bargaining move.
It’s all about whether they can get that sum €65 million up to €85m, and it’s all about the the add-ons, and who pays what and when, so stay tuned.
Elsewhere, Jesse Lingard, available as a free agent, will fly to the United States of America (which he just visited last month) to hear pitches from some unspecified Major League Soccer teams. According to ESPN, there are a pair of teams interested, in signing him for what have been described as “ground-breaking” deals.
This despite interest from both West Ham United and Everton. While this may seem like an odd move the attacking midfielder, at first glance, remember he needs to go to a destination where he’ll have regular first team football, and immediately.
Otherwise he has zero chance of getting back into the England World Cup squad this fall.
Also, he’ll be 30 in December, so he’s not “young” anymore. German legend Bastian Schweinsteiger was 32 when he left Manchester United to play for the Chicago Fire in MLS. This move would actually make some sense for Lingard, and it’s obviously far from unprecedented.
Go get him Chicago Fire! (I guess, maybe)
Paul M. Banks is the owner/manager of The Bank (TheSportsBank.Net) and author of “Transatlantic Passage: How the English Premier League Redefined Soccer in America,” as well as “No, I Can’t Get You Free Tickets: Lessons Learned From a Life in the Sports Media Industry.”Follow paulmbanks