Senior sources at Manchester United believe Barcelona midfielder Frenkie de Jong has not ruled out a move to Old Trafford this summer, The Athletic report.
The Red Devils have already agreed an initial fee of £63 million to sign the Netherlands international, but the move has been held up with the midfielder yet to accept personal terms.
De Jong is said to be reluctant to leave Barcelona until his deferred wages are paid, and The Athletic claim that United continue to reject suggestions that the player is not interested in a move.
The 25-year-old’s current stance is reportedly based on the salary owed as well as his agent fees, and it remains to be seen whether United’s judgement of the situation proves to be right.
The club believe there are no better alternatives to pursue. West Ham United’s Declan Rice and Borussia Dortmund’s Jude Bellingham could only be available in the summer of 2023.
United taking a big risk with their De Jong stance
United boss Erik ten Hag has repeatedly said that he wants the right signings this summer, and De Jong is definitely one of those, who would perfectly suit his style of play.
The Dutchman played under him at Ajax from the deep-plying midfield role. He was quite exceptional with his tackling, awareness, ball control as well as distribution.
De Jong has not managed to replicate the same at Barcelona. Instead of his preferred number six role, he has played centrally with Sergi Busquets being the holding midfielder.
At United, he has the platform to showcase his world-class qualities from his suited position, but a deal may not be straightforward even if Barcelona settle his deferred wages.
Chelsea have recently opened negotiations with the Catalan giants over the player, but they have a distinct advantage with Champions League football up for grabs.
The competition is said to be a priority for the Ajax graduate, but United will be hoping to lure him nonetheless with the chance to reunite with his former head coach.
Ten Hag has already been in contact with the midfielder to know his stance on wages and for now, United can only play the waiting game to find out whether they can sign him.
Stats from Transfermarkt.com
- Opinion: Glazers’ £17 million Adrien Rabiot transfer disaster-class highlights everything wrong at Manchester United
- Manchester United offered a chance to sign Alvaro Morata
- Manchester United pull out of Marko Arnautovic deal
- Man Utd register interest in Cody Gakpo, player keen on transfer
- Wes Brown impressed by Lisandro Martínez’s Manchester United debut
- Rio Ferdinand urges Man Utd to re-sign Danny Welbeck as back-up striker
- Manchester United now have great chance to sign ‘incredible’ Dan-Axel Zagadou for absolutely nothing
- Man Utd can sign Sergej Milinkovic-Savic for £50m this summer
- Manchester United handed another transfer blow as Benjamin Sesko’s future is decided
- Man Utd identify Guido Rodriguez as alternative to Adrien Rabiot