EXCL: Barcelona’s de Jong stance, Ashworth tempted by Man United and more

Posted by

This article was originally published on Fabrizio Romano’s Daily Briefing, a subscription service. If you would like to receive Fabrizio Romano’s exclusive articles via email ahead of publication on caughtoffside.com, please sign-up for the service here: thedailybriefing.io

Barcelona want to keep Frenkie de Jong – but could be forced to sell

There have been lots of rumours about Frenkie de Jong lately guys, but I can tell you that Barcelona will try to extend his contract in the next months.

They still believe in Frenkie and there’s no news on the player side so far regarding wanting to leave the club.

Of course, if both sides can’t agree on a new deal, the situation in the summer could change.

I’m not hearing anything on decisions made or negotiations ongoing, and I’m not aware of any Tottenham bids so far, despite the stories.

Dan Ashworth is tempted by Man United’s project

A number of names were mentioned in connection with the Man United sporting director post earlier in the season, but I can repeat again that Dan Ashworth has always, always been the priority for INEOS.

He has worked well with Eddie Howe at Newcastle but sees Man United as an important, ambitious project and Ashworth’s tempted by that.

It’s unlikely that Newcastle are just gonna let him walk away guys, but sources guarantee that he believes that Man United are building something important and so he’d be ready to accept.

It now depends now on the two clubs with talks likely to begin shortly.

No truth to Mbappé offering himself to Arsenal and Liverpool

Reports in the English media suggested that Kylian Mbappé’s entourage offered the player to Liverpool last year but the Reds weren’t prepared to break their wage structure. A desire to emulate Thierry Henry apparently also saw the Frenchman being offered to Arsenal and they turned him down for the same reasons.
I have to say guys that I haven’t heard this honestly. There’s no update on Mbappé so far, I’ve really nothing new to share.

As I always say: the Mbappé story will only be clear when he decides, and he will firstly inform PSG and their president Al Khelaifi.

At that point we will be able to understand what’s next for Kylian. Sources are denying all other stories.

Brentford have already made a record signing for the summer

Some really important news for Brentford but also for Ivan Toney. The club have completed a summer signing; Igor Thiago.

Igor Thiago is a Brazilian striker from Club Brugge, and it’s a done deal to Brentford. The player has completed his medical and signed the contract until 2029, with Brentford spending more than £30m on the player.

He will be their record signing but what does it mean for Ivan Toney?

Well guys, we know he is going to be on the move and keep an eye on him because the interest of Arsenal is still there, the interest from Chelsea… we have to see if they will decide to act. These two clubs at the moment have not started any negotiation but the interest has always been there.

Let’s see what’s gonna be the real price for Ivan Toney, but for sure an interesting moment for this deal in the next months because he will leave and Igor Thiago will be his replacement.

Man City remain UCL favourites in my opinion

I don’t think it’s a big surprise that I’m tipping Man City to go all the way in the Champions League again. They are big favourites this year.

Having secured the European title last season there is less pressure on their shoulders than in previous years, and that is a big bonus for Pep Guardiola.

They have a fantastic squad and are also ready to make special things happen again because they’ve got a lot of experience after winning the treble too.

It’s gonna be difficult to stop them.

Atléti’s Mario Hermoso is exploring other options

Atlético Madrid’s Mario Hermoso is exploring other options, it’s true. His contract runs out at the end of this season but it’s important to clarify guys that nothing is done or close with Barcelona now.

He’s taking his time and still considering options around Europe. Nothing is agreed or advanced, and it will potentially take weeks/months from now before he decides his future.

Absolutely no decision from the player so far.

No fresh Napoli contact for Antonio Conte

Antonio Conte has appeared in the media again, to remind everyone that he’s still a winner.

He was of course referring to his time with Chelsea in his recent interview, and the time now seems right for him to get back into football management after his sabbatical.

Although there have been rumours in the Italian press regarding a possible move by Napoli president, Aurelio de Laurentiis, to hire Conte from next season, I’ve nothing confirmed on this one honestly.

Conte said no to Napoli in October and I’m not aware of fresh contacts at this stage.

More Stories Ange Postecoglou Antonio Conte Dan Ashworth Deco Eddie Howe Frenkie de Jong Igor Thiago Ivan Toney Joan Laporta Jurgen Klopp Kylian Mbappe Mario Hermoso Mikel Arteta Pep Guardiola PIF Sir Jim Ratcliffe Xavi