Update (August 23, 11:30pm ET)
Fabrizio Romano has also apparently chimed in, firmly supporting the German reporters in saying Bayern haven’t made contact about Frenkie de Jong. As captured by @iMiaSanMia:
There are absolutely no negotiations between Bayern and Frenkie de Jong’s agents or between Bayern and Barcelona. Julian Nagelsmann is a great fan of the player and is ‘in love’ with his qualities, but Bayern are happy with the midfielders they have.
So, what’s the angle from the Spanish reporters covering the FC Barcelona perspective? Who knows.
Headlines broke yesterday about Bayern Munich’s allegedly renewed interest in FC Barcelona midfielder Frenkie de Jong. The Bavarians reportedly made an approach to take De Jong on loan with an option to buy, but German reporters Christian Falk (Sport Bild) and Florian Plettenberg (Sky) were quick to refute the rumors:
the renewed rumours about an interest of @FCBayern in Frenkie de Jong this summer are NOT TRUE ❌— Christian Falk (@cfbayern) August 23, 2022
According to Plettenberg, as captured by @iMiaSanMia, Bayern are happy with what they’ve got:
Frenkie de Jong will not join Bayern this window. The club is counting on Kimmich and the existing personnel in midfield - especially Gravenberch, whom the club is totally happy with his development & could be a starter in the next few weeks.
(Gravenberch’s starting role would likely come in midweek, with a DFB-Pokal game against Viktoria Koln on August 31. Marcel Sabitzer appears to be holding down the starting position next to Joshua Kimmich in the first-choice XI.)
However, Barça-covering journalist Gabriel Sans reported that Bayern had indeed made a concrete approach in the last day. Again as captured by @iMiaSanMia:
In the past few hours, Bayern have appeared again in the scene for Frenkie de Jong - trying to put on the table a loan offer with option to buy. Manchester United are not giving up and will also make an attempt for the Dutchman, despite having already signed Casemiro.
Manchester United have long been in on Frenkie, but the Dutchman hasn’t appeared to return the interest. Perhaps this week’s stunning win over Liverpool will help win him over to Erik ten Hag’s project, but it remains that the Red Devils are out of the Champions League and not the likeliest shout to make it back next season — an underwhelming proposition for a player of De Jong’s caliber.
Further, Marca journalist Luis Rojo tweeted that Barcelona were the ones to shutter the possibility of a Bayern move, with De Jong now looking likely to remain at the La Liga club:
Barça rules out the transfer of Frenkie de Jong to Bayern. Further and further away from leaving...
This is being reported as a rejection in response to a Bayern overture, though it’s not clear from the tweet itself whether Rojo is making as exact a claim.
It sure sounds like Frenkie to Bayern is not happening, at least not in this window. Less certain is whether or not Bayern made a real approach late — there’s some noise about a late offer on RB Leipzig’s Konrad Laimer as well, so perhaps there’s fire beneath the smoke and the German giants are poking around. If they are doing so, it’s justifiably from a position of strength given what we’ve seen on the field so far — “relaxed”, even — but of course De Jong offers something to any club.
Barça have been out on Manchester City’s Bernardo Silva for a while, but various rumors have them still in on both right- and left-backs to add in this bonkers transfer window. How they’ll do that and register Joules Koundé while also keeping De Jong on the books — which might include being on the hook for huge sums of previously deferred payments — is one of those beautiful mysteries of our elegant universe.
Regardless, it seems at least a little revealing that the Bayern brass appear to be keeping one eye on the possibilities in central midfield in the waning transfer market.