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Mikel Arteta ‘dreaming’ of Arsenal beating Man United to €80m Barcelona star signing this summer



Mikel Arteta ‘dreaming’ of Arsenal beating Man United to €80m Barcelona star signing this summer

Arsenal and Manchester United are set to face off this weekend in the Premier League but the bitter rivals could also come head-to-head in a transfer battle for one of Erik ten Hag’s long-term targets at Barcelona.

Frenkie Jong was United’s top target during Ten Hag’s first summer at the club in 2022 but the midfielder rejected the chance to move to Old Trafford despite Barcelona pushing him to leave due to his high wages.

The 27-year-old remains an integral part of Barcelona’s team but the La Liga giants are once again under severe financial restraints and would like to get De Jong’s salary off their books, with the Dutchman entering the last two years of his contract.

United will look to revamp their squad in the summer and it appears De Jong is still a player they wish to be a part of their long-term vision, however Fichajes state that Arsenal are also interested in the ex-Ajax star.

The report claims that Mikel Arteta ‘dreams’ of creating a trio in midfield of De Jong, Declan Rice and Martin Odegaard and sees the Barcelona man as ‘the perfect compliment’ to his plans.

It is believed De Jong’s asking price is around €80 million – a fee which would prove difficult for Arsenal and United to meet, as it stands, with both clubs needing to sell players before splashing the cash this summer.

De Jong – Premier League bound?
De Jong has been a crucial first team player since joining Barcelona for €86m in 2019, playing more than 200 games for the club and establishing himself as one of the best deep-lying midfielders in the world.

His performances led to Ten Hag making De Jong his priority signing upon his arrival at United but the Barca star was reluctant to leave and was unconvinced by the prospect of joining the Premier League outfit.

United opted to sign Casemiro instead but the former Real Madrid star has seen his form dramatically decline in recent months, leading to Ten Hag’s side needing to seek a replacement for the Brazilian this summer.

Arsenal, meanwhile, are still looking to continue bolstering their squad under Arteta to once again push for the Premier League title next season and a midfielder is thought to be on their agenda this summer.

However, the priority will likely be a striker, a wide player and a defender before a midfielder is considered, with sales also set to dictate Arsenal’s plans, meaning a pursuit of De Jong is not something that will manifest imminently

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