Barcelona midfielder Frenkie de Jong is in constant dialogue with Manchester United manager Erik ten Hag, and has not ruled out a move to Old Trafford this summer, The Mirror report.
The Netherlands international is undoubtedly Ten Hag’s priority target for the transfer window, but the Red Devils are yet to convince him to put pen-to-paper on a contract.
United recently agreed to pay €75 million plus €10m (£64m plus £8.5m) in add-ons for the 25-year-old, but De Jong has not given the green light for the transfer to materialise.
It is now revealed that De Jong has plans of reuniting with his former Ajax boss, but will not make the stance public due to the wages owed to him by Barcelona.
The midfielder and his agent believe the public desire to join United will weaken their position as they aim to secure his deferred wages and loyalty bonuses.
Meanwhile, United have tried to settle the salary debts by paying a lesser transfer fee, but there are tax complications and would be against UEFA and FIFA’s Code of Practice.
Hence, United can only do is to wait for Barcelona to pay the salary. Ten Hag is prepared to stay patient on De Jong and has not urged the hierarchy to look at alternatives.
The Dutch tactician believes the former Ajax star would transform his midfield with his excellent distribution and ball control, and get United closer to the title contenders.
United should eventually sign De Jong from Barcelona
Barcelona’s financial concerns have somewhat subsided with the approval of two economic levers, but they still need to lower their wage bill to register new players this summer.
Andreas Christensen and Frank Kessie recently joined on free transfers while they have made a huge outlay of £55m to prise away Raphinha from Premier League side Leeds United.
They are also about to land Robert Lewandowski from Bayern Munich in a deal worth £42m. Hence, they need to make a big-money sale, and De Jong is the most likely player to make way.
Xavi Hernandez’ side also have the chance to get his £320,000-a-week salary off their wage bill, but De Jong is unlikely to change his stance until his deferred payments are sorted by the club.
The Blaugrana have been willing to spend big despite several players accepting pay-cuts. If they were to settle De Jong, the other players including Gerard Pique may want their debts paid.
This has created a potentially difficult situation for the Blaugrana, but it won’t be a surprise if they eventually agree on a suitable timescale for the repayment through a legal document.
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