Manchester United are now willing to cover the money Frenkie de Jong is owed by Barcelona, according to reports. The Netherlands international is Erik ten Hag’s priority transfer target at Old Trafford. And that’s why the Red Devils are prepared to make him one of their highest-earners at the club.
Manchester United have spent all summer long chasing De Jong, who previously impressed under Ten Hag at Ajax.
While the midfielder has stated both privately and publicly he doesn’t want to leave Barcelona, the La Liga giants need to jettison him so they can register the likes of Raphinha, Robert Lewandowski, Jules Kounde, Andreas Christensen and Franck Kessie.
United have agreed an overall package for De Jong worth close to £72 million.
And Sport now say they’re prepared to cover Barcelona on money owed to the 25-year-old in order to ensure their pursuit hasn’t all been for nothing.
For the Catalan giants, that’s excellent news.
Barcelona don’t want to cough up the full amount De Jong is owed, with the player previously agreeing to take a pay cut at the start of the coronavirus pandemic in March 2020.
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The Netherlands international is believed to be owed between £14m and £17m.
But, now that United are ready to stump up the money, it seems like Barcelona will benefit from that decision.
The Catalan giants know they need to eat into their funds further in order to acquire Bernardo Silva, who is Xavi’s priority target.
Bernardo has spent the last five years at Manchester City, winning four Premier League titles during his glittering stint at the Etihad Stadium.
But although he’s been an important asset for Pep Guardiola, another big sale could take place.
City have already offloaded three senior stars this summer in the forms Oleksandr Zinchenko, Gabriel Jesus and Raheem Sterling.
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Both Zinechenko and Jesus have joined Arsenal to play under Mikel Arteta, who previously coached them in Manchester.
And Sterling was allowed to join Chelsea, with the England international likely to be a significant asset for Thomas Tuchel over at Stamford Bridge.
United, by agreeing to cover the costs with De Jong, are now hoping to finally get a deal over the line.
But whether the midfielder accepts a reunion with Ten Hag remains to be seen.
Should De Jong move to Old Trafford, he’ll become United’s latest Dutch recruit – following in the footsteps of some club legends.
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Jaap Stam, Ruud van Nistelrooy, Robin van Persie and Edwin van der Sar are all fondly remembered as having flourished in the years where Sir Alex Ferguson ruled the roost.
Alexander Buttner, Daley Blind and Memphis Depay also won silverware during their time at United.
And hopes are high Donny van de Beek can kick on, despite the Netherlands international toiling in English football over the past two years.
Barcelona boss Xavi, meanwhile, has admitted he’s unsure if De Jong will stay at the Nou Camp or end up jumping ship.
“I don’t know if he is going to stay,” said the Spaniard, who has used the midfielder at centre-back during pre-season.
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“There is still time and a lot of things can happen.
“At the moment he is part of the team, like everyone else.”
De Jong could also become United’s sixth signing from La Liga since Ferguson’s retirement in 2013.
Under Louis van Gaal, the likes of Ander Herrera, Victor Valdes and Angel Di Maria all arrived.
And Jose Mourinho and Ole Gunnar Solskjaer snapped up Eric Bailly and Raphael Varane during their stints in charge, too.
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