Although Barcelona are trying to build a new project, and de Jong was seen as a major part of that project, things appear to have changed. According to reports in Spain, the player could be sold on in the summer to make way for yet more signings. Current Head Coach Xavi has been pretty clear that he intends to build the club in his image. However, much like Mikel Arteta has done at Arsenal, the removal of some key first team players has some fans concerned.
For his part, de Jong has been lauded for his attitude and for his on-pitch contributions. The Blaugrana, though, are keen to raise funds and could therefore sell on a player they bought in 2019. He was a key part of the AFC Ajax team that went so close to the UEFA Champions League final in 2019. Since, he has been a solid performer for FCB and has played close to 150 senior games.
However, one could argue that the flux at Barca has meant the player has never settled into his best position. Add in the continued changes at the coaching position and those around him, and it would be hard for any player to settle. One as cerebral and team-oriented as de Jon, though, can especially struggle when there is not enough cohesion among teammates.
England or Italy for Dutch playmaker?
Initial reports suggest that two options appeal to the player: a move to Italy with Juventus, for a move to England with Manchester United.
The former is the most appealing for various reasons. One, Juventus are further along in their project. Two, they will play in the UEFA Champions League next year. And, crucially, his old teammate and friend Matthijs de Ligt plays for the Old Lady. Playing with his compatriot and international colleague again could be essential for de Jong as he looks to make sure his next move is the right one.
United would be a good choice, too, given they will be coached by his former Ajax boss in Erik ten Haag. However, the Red Devils are currently in the midst of a major reboot and could be out of the UEFA Europa League and Champions League. However, Untied have the funding, the wages, and the pulling power as a giant to make starting a new project seem exciting.
Manchester City have also been tentatively linked, but it is believed they are more interested in buying a forward this summer. United or Juventus, then, might be the beneficiaries of yet another episode of flux for Barcelona.