Manchester United are prepared to hold a new meeting with Barcelona over the potential transfer of midfielder Frenkie de Jong, according to Sport (today’s edition, page 8).
The Red Devils agreed a £72m deal with the Blaugrana for De Jong earlier this summer, but a transfer did not materialise after failing to finalise personal terms with the player.
Their transfer proposal recently expired owing to this, but Spanish publication Sport claim that the club are not giving up yet in their pursuit of the former Ajax youngster.
As per the outlet, United are considered as the only ‘escape route’ for the Dutchman. The Red Devils are also ‘convinced’ that they are the only ‘real options’ for a transfer.
Chelsea have been heavily linked with De Jong in recent weeks, but have not made a formal move.
United are now looking for a new meeting with Blaugrana’s hierarchy this week and believe they can take advantage of the player’s ongoing dispute with the Catalan side.
The La Liga giants are quite clear that De Jong needs to take a pay-cut to stay. The club need to lower their wage bill and this could pave the way for the Dutchman’s exit.
United hopeful of sealing late deal for De Jong
The Red Devils recently made a big statement by landing Casemiro from Real Madrid. The 30-year-old is one of the best holding midfielders in world football at the moment.
Despite this arrival, United seem determined to land De Jong, who has been Erik ten Hag’s priority target. The 25-year-old was a key player under him at former club Ajax.
With Casemiro’s arrival, De Jong will no longer get the chance to play in the deep lying role, but he would be assured with a starting position, which is not the case at Barcelona.
With a number of players eyed before the transfer deadline, finances are not a concern for United, and the focus is rather on whether De Jong can be persuaded to make the move.
De Jong has been resisting a transfer away from Camp Nou for multiple weeks, but he could change his stance in the coming days, considering Barcelona are actively aiming to sell him.
United will make him one of their highest earners with the switch to Old Trafford, but the big question remains whether Barcelona can settle his deferred wages and bonus payments.
The figure currently stands at over £17m. Barcelona need to find a resolution over that first. If that happens, United should be confident of landing De Jong with no competition whatsoever.
Similar to Casemiro, De Jong would provide a big upgrade to United’s midfield with his excellent distribution, ball control, dribbling as well as the ability to make key passes in the final third.
Stats from Transfermarkt.com