Three of the hottest transfer rumors this summer appear to have finally come to fruition: Frenkie de Jong, a Barcelona negotiating chip, Robert “Something Died Inside Me” Lewandowski, and Cristiano Ronaldo without his Bugatti Veyron.
Ronaldo has been informed by Manchester United that it is not considering any proposals from some of Europe’s leading teams, including Roma of José Mourinho, according to sources with ESPN and Fabrizio Romano.
Ronaldo just has one year remaining on his Old Trafford contract and hasn’t exactly warmed to the thought of competing in the Europa League next season, but he’s showed a willingness to stick around under Erik ten Hag if there is some ambition displayed in the transfer market.
Ronaldo once again proved that he can be any club’s immediate option at the striker position after scoring 24 goals in 38 appearances for the Red Devils in all competitions the previous season. Wherever a major club in need materializes, the rumors have unavoidably followed. Bayern Munich is apparently prepared to sell Robert Lewandowski to Barça for about $55 million after sending a come and get-me letter to the Spanish club.
To see if Bayern would be interested in signing the Portuguese player as a replacement, Ronaldo’s agent Jorge Mendes contacted the German club, but, according to Romano, Bayern declined.
Since Mendes was seen with the team’s new co-owner and chairman Todd Boehly, there have also been fresh links to Chelsea. Romelu Lukaku is apparently planning to return to Inter this week, which means the Blues will once again be looking for a forward. However, Chelsea’s top aim continues to be luring Raheem Sterling away from Manchester City.
However, it appears that Ten Hag has now gotten Frenkie de Jong back from Barça, thus Man United was wise to inform Ronaldo of his confinement while he was on vacation with his family in Mallorca and STILL MAINTAINING THE SHAPE.
Deal with Frenkie de Jong. Barça and Manchester United communicate frequently. After the original bid of €60m plus add-ons was rejected, the clubs are now verbally discussing a guarantee of roughly €65m. #MUFC On the part of the players and agents, nothing has changed. pic.twitter.com/RMt3xdIn95 — Fabrizio Romano on June 26, 2022 (@FabrizioRomano)
De Jong has improved throughout his three seasons at Camp Nou. He was the midfield maverick during Ajax’s run to the 2018–19 Champions League semifinals and was named the competition’s Midfielder of the Season.
It’s not difficult to imagine beautifully weighted tears streaming down Xavi’s face if De Jong makes the move, but it’ll fund the arrival of Lewandowski while also firmly passing the midfield mantle to Gavi, Pedri and Nico González (Xavi is also closely monitoring Álvaro Sanz, Pablo Torre and Emre Demir on Barça B — the rondos don’t stop at La Masia).
Only Jordi Alba and Sergio Busquets played more LaLiga minutes than De Jong, a 25-year-old Dutchman who scored three goals and provided three assists.
At times he seems utterly incapable of making the wrong decision, as evidenced by the fact that he was only dispossessed 0.9 times per match with an average of 1.2 unsuccessful touches (Paul Pogba was dispossessed 1.4 times per match with an average of 2.1 unsuccessful touches). He’ll give United’s midfield the rhythm, speed, and sharpness it sorely lacked last year.
The loser in all this is obviously Bayern, although they can now get what they want out of Barcelona for a player with one year left on his contract knowing that United has upped its De Jong offer.
Bayern has already strengthened its attack with the addition of Sadio Mané from Liverpool for $34 million, but 33-year-old Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting represents Lewandowski’s direct backup at striker.