Manchester United have been handed a huge boost in signing midfielder Frenkie de Jong with Barcelona manager Xavi Hernandez refusing to rule out his exit before the transfer deadline.
The Red Devils have reportedly reached an agreement with the Blaugrana to sign De Jong (€75m + €10m in add-ons), but a transfer has not materialised with De Jong yet to accept personal terms.
Despite this, United have not given up on the pursuit, and they have been given fresh incentive with Xavi acknowledging that he does not know what will happen with De Jong by the end of the month.
The Spanish tactician would ideally want to keep him beyond the transfer window, but hinted that he may need to accept a pay-cut which the club have been trying to convince him to do for a while.
He said after yesterday’s friendly vs Pumas UNAM, via Fabrizio Romano: “I don’t know what will happen to Frenkie de Jong. Until August 31st anything can happen, but he knows what I think and what the club want and need. Of course I’m counting on him, he’s a great player.”
Man Utd could still sign De Jong from Barcelona
United have made it a priority to land De Jong this summer, but the pursuit has been far from straightforward. The midfielder has been reluctant to leave, but could still move on due to Barcelona’s financial concerns.
De Jong needs to accept a significant pay-cut of around 40 per cent and forego his deferred wages to stay. With him having no plans to do so, a summer departure seems the most viable solution for both parties at the moment.
United and Chelsea have both been linked with the midfielder, but the Blues have already made a huge outlay on €187m, and they are currently in the process of negotiating a big-money deal to land Leicester City’s Wesley Fofana.
Hence, they may not be willing to match United’s agreed fee with the Blaugrana. In our view, the Red Devils are still in the driving seat for the former Ajax graduate, and manager Erik ten Hag could yet play a key role in convincing him.
De Jong is said to prioritise Champions League football, but Ten Hag has already been in regular contact with him. The midfielder would be assured game time in his preferred deep-lying midfield role where he has rarely played for Barcelona.
The duo enjoyed good success together at Ajax. Ten Hag got the best out of De Jong from the number six position with his superb distribution, ball control and dribbling qualities. He would provide a huge upgrade to United’s midfield if signed.
Stats from Transfermarkt.com
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