Manchester United

Manchester United

Premier League • England

Frenkie de Jong transfer breakthrough coming after Man Utd perform U-turn on costly Barcelona demand

Barcelona midfielder Frenkie de Jong

Man Utd have been tipped to succeed with their final offer for Frenkie de Jong after a report revealed a key demand they’re now willing to meet.

The Frenkie de Jong to Manchester United transfer saga has defined the Red Devils’ summer. United’s pursuit of the 25-year-old Dutchman has entered its third month. In that time, the club have wrapped up deals for three other stars: Tyrell Malacia, Christian Eriksen and Lisandro Martinez.

Yet Barcelona ace De Jong remains the main prize up for grabs. Indeed, new boss Erik ten Hag has reportedly promised his fellow countryman he’ll be the main man in his new-look midfield.

Barcelona have accepted United’s bid, reportedly in the region of an initial £56m rising to over £70m through add-ons. Despite their public stance stating they’re happy to retain De Jong, Barca are believed to be desperate to move the player out behind the scenes.

However, the major stumbling block has been convincing the player to switch clubs. To that end, De Jong is yet to agree personal terms with United and a key factor behind his reluctance to change scenery is the £17m he is owed in deferred wages.

De Jong agreed to push back a huge chunk of his salary to help Barcelona navigate the financial strain that came during the Covid pandemic.

However, the Spanish giant are insisting United take on the deferred wages on top of a deal for De Jong – something the Red Devils had thus far refused to do.

But according to Spanish outlet Diario Sport, United are prepared to perform a U-turn on that front.

United ready to ‘assume the debts’

Firstly, they state United are preparing a ‘final offer’ that will see De Jong pocket around £450,000-a-week at Old Trafford. But more importantly, it’s noted they are now willing to take on the £17m in deferred wages too.

The Mirror add their take on that development, claiming that turn of events is set to produce a ‘breakthrough’ for United.

However, legal complications will ensure ‘assuming the debts’ is far from straightforward. Indeed, United cannot legally take on another player’s owed wages outright.

As such, the Mirror suggest the structure of a De Jong deal will have the £17m ‘integrated into other payments’ the player will receive during his time in Manchester. This could include basic salary, bonuses, add-ons and sign-on/loyalty fees.

Of course, United would still have to convince De Jong Old Trafford is the right place to be. However, the issue of owed salary was believed to be the major sticking point, and this latest development could finally spawn a long-awaited breakthrough.

Frenkie de Jong will define Man Utd summer

The fact United have been so strong in their pursuit of De Jong has ensured viable alternatives haven’t been signed.

Eriksen did play in a similar position to De Jong at Brentford last season. However, already 30, the Dane is far from a long-term option.

Ten Hag has got the likes of Jadon Sancho, Anthony Martial and Marcus Rashford firing up front in pre-season. Martinez will add intensity and bite to the backline, though central midfield remains the big area of concern.

Scott McTominay and Fred never fail to give maximum effort. However, the recent seasons have shown the pair aren’t of the standard required to put United back where they belong.

De Jong would represent a giant step up in quality and Ten Hag’s persistence in the chase is therefore understandable.

If the Dutchman can be signed, United will have the perfect player to control the tempo and set the tone in midfield. If not, another frustrating and inconsistent campaign will likely await.