Manchester United are convinced that midfielder Frenkie de Jong would be willing to join them once Barcelona settle his deferred wages, Spanish publication Sport claim (today’s edition, page 8).
The Red Devils reached a transfer agreement with the Blaugrana for the midfielder last month. They have agreed to pay an initial fee of £63 million with a further £8.4m in the form of add-ons.
Despite this, a deal has yet to materialise with the Netherlands international reluctant to accept personal terms.
It has been claimed that he does not want to join United due to the lack of Champions League football, but the club are still convinced that they are ‘favourites’ to land his services this summer.
According to Sport, United believe the Dutch midfielder will give the ‘OK’ for the transfer once the Catalan giants find a solution to settle his outstanding deferred wages of around £14.25m.
United boss Erik ten Hag has ‘spoken’ to the player and is ‘aware’ of the situation. Meanwhile, Chelsea have also been linked with the former Ajax star, but they are yet to make a formal bid.
United still front-runners to land De Jong from Barcelona
Barcelona activated a third economic lever of around £83.7m on Monday afternoon after selling 25 per cent of their Barca Studios production house to Socios.com.
The move could allow them to register their new signings this summer, but the Catalans may need additional funds from outgoings if they are to pursue more players.
Bernardo Silva is of interest to manager Xavi Hernandez and the club have plans of offloading De Jong over the coming weeks such that they can sign the Portuguese.
Hence, it is becoming likelier that De Jong will head for the exit door soon. The only way he could stay is by accepting a significant pay-cut which seems unlikely to happen.
If Barcelona compensate his deferred salary, United should be in the driving seat to land his services as the reported Chelsea interest seems to be more agent-driven.
Ten Hag has been insistent on landing his former Ajax star, and United could now play the long game until the final weeks of August to find out whether they can sign him.
There have been suggestions that United could settle his owed wages by Barcelona, but there would be tax complications. It would also be against the UEFA and FIFA’s Code of Practice.
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