Barcelona Transfer News: Rumoured PSG, Frenkie de Jong Talks Emerge

James Dudko@@JamesDudkoFeatured ColumnistJuly 18, 2018

Frenkie de Jong of Ajax during the Dutch Eredivisie match between Ajax Amsterdam and ADO Den Haag at the Amsterdam Arena on February 25, 2018 in Amsterdam, The Netherlands(Photo by VI Images via Getty Images)
VI-Images/Getty Images

Paris Saint-Germain have reportedly recently entered into talks for versatile Ajax star and Barcelona target Frenkie de Jong. Les Parisiens sent sporting director Antero Henrique to speak with the player's agent, per Angels Fabregues of Sport

She also noted how the Blaugrana have not been prepared to meet Ajax's asking price of €50 million for a player who is out of contract in 2019.

Fabregues reported PSG are considering several midfielders, with Borussia Dortmund's Julian Weigl and Chelsea enforcer N'Golo Kante on the list.

Weigl may be the most realistic target since he worked with new PSG boss Thomas Tuchel in Dortmund. De Jong offers more flexibility, thanks to also being able to play in defence.

Weigl is reportedly also on PSG's radar.
Weigl is reportedly also on PSG's radar.TF-Images/Getty Images

Barca may not want to be held to ransom, but the interest in De Jong appears genuine. The Blaugrana have scouted the 21-year-old, according to Joe Short of the Sunday Express.

Short speculated Barcelona may be keen on a player able to operate at multiple positions after letting Javier Mascherano leave back in January. Mascherano is a natural holding midfielder who successfully transitioned to centre-back at the Camp Nou.

Depth at the heart of defence and the base of midfield is an issue in manager Ernesto Valverde's squad. Samuel Umtiti and Gerard Pique are the starting centre-backs, but injury-prone Thomas Vermaelen is the only credible cover.

Young Colombia international Yerry Mina is wanted by Boca Juniors, per Marca. The 23-year-old is one of several players, along with fellow central defender Marlon Santos and goalkeeper Jasper Cillessen, who could be sold this summer to help the La Liga giants raise £130 million, according to Sport (h/t Dan Ripley of MailOnline).

Barca still need a replacement for Mascherano.
Barca still need a replacement for Mascherano.Alessandro Di Marco/Associated Press

If Barca offload so many players at various positions, snapping up a talent as versatile as De Jong would make sense. The Camp Nou club likely has the inside track, with Mundo Deportivo (h/t MailOnline's Michael Searles) having recently reported there have been several rounds of talks between Barcelona officials and Ajax, with the player favouring the move thanks to the chance to pay with Lionel Messi.

Even with PSG on the scene, Barca appear poised to win the race for one of the most coveted prospects in Europe.