Erik ten Hag is believed to have spelled out his Manchester United vision to Frenkie de Jong as his transfer to Old Trafford continues to edge closer.
The Barcelona midfielder has been the subject of intense interest from United all summer. However, negotiating a deal with the LaLiga giants has proven tough. Ultimately, it seems as though United have had to relent to the Blaugrana’s financial demands. As such, reports claim the deal may be announced as early as this week.
United will reportedly pay Barcelona a fee of around £64.4m, with a vast chunk of the payment up front. United had hoped to offer a small downpayment with the rest made up with bonuses and add-ons.
Barca, though, were adamant they wanted a vast chunk of that fee up front. Bizarrely, though, reports on Monday claim Barcelona had asked about the prospect of Harry Maguire’s inclusion in the deal.
However, it seems the two teams have finally settled on a fee, with De Jong primed to become United’s first, and most significant, signing of the summer.
The news will come as a welcome relief to Ten Hag. The new United boss has had to watch as their top-four rivals have all strengthened their hands with some significant signings.
Furthermore, the Dutchman was desperate to strengthen his midfield, having identified that as an area of weakness upon his appointment.
Deep midfield role for Frenkie de Jong
Now Ten Hag and De Jong are set to renew their relationship that enjoyed so much success at Ajax.
And, as per the Manchester Evening News, Ten Hag is believed to have made clear the position De Jong will play in the United side.
He is likely to occupy a deep-lying midfield role, sitting just in front of the defence and orchestrating the play.
Outlining how he revels in dropping deep, De Jong gave an insight into the position he performs with the Netherlands.
“Here in the national team, I have a position that suits me better,” he said. “I like to be the first player to receive the ball from defenders. I play in a different way in the national team compared to Barca.”
And with neither Scott McTominay or Fred convincing in the same role for Manchester United, that is the position he will likely find himself in.
Barcelona ready to sign Carlos Soler as replacement
Barcelona are well served for options in the centre of the park. They can rely on experienced Sergio Busquets, while they have youngsters Pedri and Gavi both making names for themselves.
However, AS reports that they are still planning to sign a replacement with a deal reached with Valencia for Carlos Soler.
They claim the two clubs have reached a full agreeement to bring Soler to the Nou Camp, having tracked him for months.
And Barca appear to have landed themselves a bargain with a fee of just £17.25m being paid up front. The 25-year-old is a full international for Spain, having made his debut back in August. He has made over 200 appearances gained over six seasons at the Mestalla.
Truly, the deal appears to suit all parties. United have needed to work hard to persuade De Jong to make the move. He has always underlined his happiness at Barcelona. Ultimately, his sale was one of convenience though for the respected clubs.
Manchester United turn down Harry Maguire offer from Barcelona
Manchester United captain Harry Maguire is wanted by Barcelona reports says as he is included in offer involving Frenkie De Jong
Barcelona can ease their financial restrictions by selling the midfielder on for big money.
United, meanwhile, hopefully get the control and vision they have long since missed in the middle of the park.