Erik ten Hag is reportedly phoning Frenkie de Jong daily to try and convince him to swap Barcelona for Manchester United.
Incoming boss Ten Hag is understood to be eager to be reunited with his midfield playmaker. The pair were together at Ajax and won the Eredivisie title and KNVB Cup together.
The 25-year-old Holland midfielder looks to be a priority for Ten Ha, who met with United officials last week.
Sport, via Sport Witness, now claim Manchester United have made contact with Barcelona regarding a summer move.
Club officlas have “already spoken” with Barca over what a deal would look like for the Dutch ace.
But despite Ten Hag’s established relationship with De Jong, he is struggling to persuade the player to move on.
According to Spanish journalist Gerard Romero, via Diablos Rojos, the manager is calling the Barca star every day because he does not want to leave the Camp Nou outfit.
De Jong has made 31 LaLiga appearances so far this season, scoring three and assisting three and is settled in Catalonia. He is believed to be happy with new coach Xavi and the Spaniard is keen to keep the player in Spain.
The Daily Mirror has also reported that the 25-year-old has stressed to Barcelona that he wants to stay at the club. That supports what ESPN have reported, that De Jong’s preference is to continue with Barca.
Barca consider finances in De Jong transfer
That has not stopped negotiations between the two clubs though. The Spanish source claim United and Barca are trying to work out a deal.
And Xaxi, while claiming De Jong is integral to his plans, admitted that finances could be key this summer.
“For me [De Jong] is a very important player,” Xavi told a news conference on Saturday. “He’s almost always been a starter, except when I’ve rotated [the team]. He is a fundamental player, but then there is the financial situation of the club.
“Not just with Frenkie, I mean in general. He’s a player I like a lot, but we’ll see how the situation is.”
The famous club had losses of £412m for the last year, leaving them with a negative net worth of £386m. Revenue was down 26% due to Covid-19 and Joan Laporta had to reduce salaries.
That included the departure of Lionel Messi. And cashing in on De Jong, who is under contract until 2026, would help ease that burden.