Manchester United are yet to make a formal offer for Barcelona’s Frenkie de Jong, according to a new report from Spain.
The Dutchman is believed to be at the top of incoming manager Erik ten Hag’s summer transfer wish list.
United will lose Nemanja Matic and Paul Pogba when their contracts expire at the end of this month and De Jong is seen as a world class potential replacement.
Barcelona’s financial struggles mean that they are willing to sell the 25-year-old.
Reports have been circulating that the two clubs were close to an agreement on an €80 million (£68m) fee, with the only stumbling block appearing to be the player’s indecision about the move.
But this afternoon, Catalan outfit Sport, who have been among the frontrunners covering the story, have reported that despite all the positive talks, United have not yet lodged any kind of formal bid with the Spanish club.
“The English team, who are moving in private to fit all the pieces, have not yet made, according to sources from the Blaugrana club’s sports management, any official proposal aimed at carrying out the operation.
“It is true that there have been contacts, calls and efforts to assess the options that the ‘Red Devils’ have to take over the Dutch midfielder, but to date nothing has materialized.
“Barça are waiting for Manchester United to send a formal offer to start a negotiation with all the cards on the table.
“Barça would only be willing to sell if an offer of around 80 million euros arrives, but the proposal has not yet reached the club’s offices and, furthermore, Frenkie has not given his definitive approval to the operation either.”
The news should not concern United fans too much. In recent years the clubs’ negotiators have tended only to lodge a formal bid when they know it is likely to be accepted and they have all their ducks in a row.
In this case, it is likely that they are awaiting a positive message from De Jong’s camp before they submit the bid.
In that regard, it was reported earlier today that the Red Devils have given the player an ultimatum that he must decide quickly because they have other targets and need to wrap up a deal as soon as possible.