Frenkie de Jong is holding up a deal to move to Manchester United because he has no interest in leaving Barcelona.
Reports have suggested the hold up in the deal was in part due to the former Ajax midfielder being owed around £17million from Barca due to bonuses and deferred wages due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
But talkSPORT have been told by Spanish football expert Phil Kitromilides that the outstanding money is not the issue.
“Frenkie de Jong doesn’t want to leave Barcelona and he doesn’t want to join Manchester United,” said Kitromilides.
“Barcelona are absolutely desperate for him to leave, Manchester United are pretty keen for him to sign but Frenkie de Jong doesn’t want to go.
“He’s been pretty clear about this so that is what is holding up the deal, not necessarily this deferred wage which they will find a way of getting around.
“What’s holding up the deal is that Frenkie de Jong doesn’t want to go.”
It is understood Barcelona boss Xavi could look to replace the Dutchman with Manchester City’s Bernardo Silva, who has three years remaining on his current contract at the Etihad Stadium.
The Portuguese playmaker is reportedly open to a switch to the Nou Camp but any approach from the Blaugrana would depend on the club recouping a fee for De Jong.
But with the De Jong deal in danger of hitting a new snag, it is unclear which way United’s long-standing pursuit will go and when quizzed on how the saga may play out, Kitromilides hinted that De Jong may opt to dig his heels to avoid being shipped off to Manchester.
He said: “It’s interesting, a lot of people are suggesting that he isn’t going to go. I’ve been speaking to people who are in Barcelona and are close to the camp and they are suggesting he wants to stay.
“He’s very happy in Barcelona, he’s just bought a new house and he got married there, he doesn’t want to leave Barcelona so, there’s no way they can force him to go.
“They can say ‘you’re not going to play’ and he can say okay then. But he’s probably just thinking ‘I will ride it out and at some point they will have to play me and I won’t have to go to Manchester’.
“He’s literally already at his dream club, living in his dream city because he very much enjoys the quality of life there.”
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