Long-time and target Frenkie de Jong sent the transfer rumour mill into overdrive on Monday after boarding a flight from to .
The 25-year-old has been pursued throughout the summer, with United first agreeing a £73million deal at the end of last month.
But De Jong has always been adamant that he wants to stay at Camp Nou while any move is complicated by the fact he is still owed around £14m in deferred wages.
With talks between United and Barca hitting an impasse, Chelsea made their own play to sign De Jong though encountered similar difficulties and resistance from the player.
With just a few days left of the window, it seemed virtually certain that De Jong would remain in Catalonia this season – at least until he was spotted at Barcelona airport on Monday.
The Netherlands international and his fiancé, Mikky Kiemeney, were spotted by Spanish television show as they arrived at the airport to catch a private jet bound for London.
With Chelsea based out of the capital and United also having offices in Mayfair, that prompted a flurry of speculation that De Jong might be heading to the Premier League after all.
But it quickly became apparent that De Jong’s trip was for pleasure – not business – with the midfielder soon accompanied on his flight by Barcelona team-mate and good pal Memphis Depay.
The ex-Manchester United winger arrived at the airport shortly after his compatriot and, like De Jong, declined to speak to the media but did sign a few autographs for Barca fans waiting at the entrance.
According to , the duo – along with the rest of the squad – have been given a couple of days off following Sunday’s comprehensive 4-0 win over Valladolid and De Jong has chosen to spend the time in London.
Further reports claim he has flown to the English capital for the wedding of international team-mate Donny van de Beek, who is getting married to Estelle Bergkamp – daughter of Arsenal legend Dennis.
Eagle-eyed viewers noticed that De Jong had a suit carrier bag along with his case as he entered the airport.
While De Jong’s trip to London may be innocent enough, the timing is certainly interesting given the enormous speculation that has surrounded his future for so long and with the transfer window closing on Thursday.
As things stand, however, De Jong is expected to remain at Camp Nou – with the issue surrounding his salary still unresolved – and Barcelona have been able to register all their new signings without needing to offload the Dutchman.
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