Man Utd have despatched a heavyweight pair to Barcelona in the hopes of finally bringing their Frenkie de Jong transfer saga to an end, per a report.
The De Jong to Man Utd transfer saga has already dragged on for over a month, yet reports continue to vary as to whether progress is actually being made. United are understood to have forged an agreement in principle over a deal worth an initial £55m.
However, the noises coming from De Jong continue to suggest he is reluctant to join the Red Devils. The Dutchman would be giving up Champions League football for next season at least, while the issue of outstanding wages is another complication.
De Jong is reportedly owed around €17m in salary by Barcelona after agreeing to defer a large portion of his wages during the Covid pandemic.
Today’s Euro Paper Talk provided the latest from Spain. Mundo Deportivo claimed De Jong will soon be told his time at the Camp Nou is up, while AS claimed Barca are secretly working on the move behind De Jong’s back.
Barcelona have struck an agreement to sign Leeds United ace, Raphinha. That will have been met with excitement in Manchester with Barca’s ability to land the Brazilian potentially hinging on the money they’ll recoup from De Jong.
Now, the Athletic have provided the latest on Man Utd’s efforts with club chiefs hoping their presence in-person can hasten negotiations.
The outlet state Manchester United have despatched a delegation including CEO, Richard Arnold, and Director of Football, John Murtough, to Barcelona.
The pair will engage in face-to-face discussions with their Barcelona counterparts with De Jong’s potential transfer the clear and number one priority.
Man Utd cannot leave empty-handed
The Athletic’s report reaffirms De Jong is and has always been Erik ten Hag’s primary target this summer.
United’s midfield, specifically in central areas, has long been derided as their weakest link.
What’s more, Nemanja Matic and Paul Pogba have both left for free, while Andreas Pereira recently wrapped up a move to Fulham.
That leaves just Fred, Scott McTominay, Donny Van de Beek and the inbound Christian Eriksen to select. James Garner excelled on loan with Nottingham Forest last term, though it may be too soon to consider him for first-team selection at Old Trafford.
The fact United’s transfer saga is dragging on for so long is also detracting from other areas. A De Jong deal will require a significant commitment in wages and a reported £55m initial outlay.
Frenkie de Jong impasse affecting other moves?
United cannot afford to spend freely in other departments until they know whether the money set aside for De Jong will actually be used.
Yet another equally important position in Ten Hag’s squad could soon require attention – centre-forward.
Why do Manchester United want Frenkie de Jong?
Why do Manchester United want Frenkie de Jong when the player seemingly doesn't want a move to Old Trafford?
Cristiano Ronaldo’s return to Old Trafford could conclude at the one-year mark. Ten Hag reportedly wants Ajax’s Antony if Ronaldo does go, though he could cost even more than De Jong.
For the sake of their window as a whole, United must reach a resolution in the De Jong saga soon. Leaving empty-handed would leave Ten Hag without his primary target and a month off the clock in his vital first window.