FC Barcelona want to sign 60 million-rated midfielder if they sell Frenkie de Jong

Barcelona want to sign Real Sociedad midfielder Martin Zubimendi after moving Frenkie de Jong out of Camp Nou, as per El Nacional.

Barca closed a deal with Manchester United for De Jong this summer, only for the player to refuse to leave. After a tiring transfer saga in the summer, it is expected that the Catalan giants will try to push him out of the club once again.

They hope that De Jong has contemplated his stance of staying at the club and is no longer averse to joining another team. Barcelona want to make a multi-million sale in 2023 in order to balance their books after spending €137 million this summer.

Marc-Andre ter Stegen was thought to be the player who will bring in some much-needed cash ahead of the 2022-23 season. However, manager Xavi Hernandez asked the club to retain him despite a bid from Newcastle United this summer.

This means that Barca are now eager to offload De Jong and put the proceeds towards Xavi’s priority transfer target, Zubimendi. The 23-year-old is seen as the ideal successor for the 34-year-old Sergio Busquets, who is expected to leave in the near future.

Sociedad are understandably against selling the player, which means Barcelona could have to pay the entirety of his €60 million release clause to sign him. Zubimendi has just under three years left on his contract at the Reale Arena.

Just three of De Jong’s six La Liga appearances this season have seen him feature in the starting XI.

Zubimendi, on the other hand, is one of the first names on manager Imanol Aguacil’s team-sheet. He has scored once and assisted twice in eight appearances across competitions for Sociedad this campaign.

Xavi claims Frenkie de Jong could play in Barcelona’s defense

Xavi seems to be looking for unconventional ways to fit De Jong in Barcelona’s starting XI. According to the Spanish tactician, the former Ajax midfielder can play as a central defender.

Speaking ahead of his team’s La Liga clash against Celta Vigo on Sunday (October 9), he said [h/t Football-Espana]:

“Frenkie can play as a central defender, it is something we tried in preseason. He made the grade, he is a powerful player, a quick player.”

He added:

“The good thing is we have lots of multi-faceted footballers, that can play in different positions, there are other options to play in defence too. But sure, Frenkie can play there.”

De Jong notably came on as a substitute to play as a centre-back during Barca’s 6-0 pre-season friendly win against Inter Milan in July.

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