Dutch star Frenkie de Jong was asked last night if he is leaving Barcelona to join Manchester United.
The midfielder is known to be incoming manager Erik ten Hag’s top transfer priority this summer as he attempts to reunite with one of his best players during his reign at Ajax.
Reports this week have claimed that United have entered into formal negotiations for the 25-year-old and that they have had a bid of €60 million plus €10 million in bonuses rejected by the Blaugrana.
On the last occasion that De Jong was asked if he was joining United he was adamant that he knew nothing about it and that he had no intention of leaving the Camp Neu.
But last night, when interviewed by ESPN after Holland’s 2-2 Nations League draw with Poland, the Dutchman was all smiles.
“Are you leaving the Catalan beaches for the cold of Manchester?” the journalist asked.
“No, I can’t, I can’t say anything!” Frenkie responded, laughing.
Periodista de ESPN: "¿Te vas de las playas de Cataluña al frío de Manchester?
— Ojo De Sauron (@OjoDeSauron_) June 12, 2022
The video will be celebrated by United fans as it clearly shows a player who is gushing at the prospect of joining the Red Devils rather than someone who is grimly feeling forced out of his own club, as some reports have suggested.
It would certainly seem that all that remains now for this deal to be concluded – unless there is a late bid by a third party – is for United and Barça to agree a fee.
According to The Mirror, “sources in Holland believe a fee of £68million [€80m] plus a package of add-ons will seal the deal.”
That still leaves the clubs €20 million apart in their valuations, with both sides wanting and needing a quick resolution to the negotiations.