Incoming Manchester United boss Erik ten Hag has reportedly identified a Barcelona star as a priority signing next season, with Xavi Hernandez having now responded to the prospect of letting the player go.
Spanish publication Sport has claimed the 52-year-old is hopeful of luring Frenkie de Jong to the Red Devils in the transfer window ahead of the coming campaign.
De Jong played a key role under Ten Hag at Ajax Amsterdam between 2017 and 2019, making 59 appearances across all competitions before his big-money switch to the Catalan giants.
While reports suggest that the Dutch tactician believes the versatile midfielder could be an important part of his project in England, it seems United will face strong resistance from Barca.
"Frenkie [de Jong] is very important for me, for the club and for the team. He is a footballer who has to mark an era with his quality and personality," Xavi said at the weekend, according to 90min.
"He is at a very good level since I arrived and he has to continue scoring goals, assists, and being the protagonist in games. He could be one of the best midfielders in the world in the coming years."
While the Spaniard's comments might appear certain, the LaLiga club's difficult financial situation has led many to expect a high-profile sale at Barcelona at the end of the season.
Rumours suggest that the Blaugrana might be willing to sell the Netherlands international for about €70 million (R1.1 billion) for this reason, although there could be some pushback from Xavi, who has, on several occasions, insisted De Jong is key for his future plans.
The 24-year-old has contributed to seven goals in 30 games under Xavi so far this season, but was annoyed to be substituted in Barcelona's 1-0 loss to Rayo Vallecano at the Camp Nou on Sunday night.
Below are 10 transfers already confirmed for the 2022/23 season: