Frenkie de Jong is nearly a Manchester United player. We’ve been hearing that for weeks now but the picture is becoming clearer as all sources now seem to be telling the same story.
The Dutchman is widely known to be new manager Erik ten Hag’s top transfer priority for United this summer as he attempts to rebuild a midfield that has lost Nemanja Matic, Jesse Lingard, Juan Mata and Paul Pogba.
Sky Sports Germany reporter Florian Plettenburg yesterday claimed that a deal was set to be concluded in time for a weekend unveiling, which could still be the case but is now seeming highly unlikely.
The rush that Barcelona were under to conclude the deal before the end of June seemed to end yesterday as the club was reported to have sold €200 million in TV rights to balance the books before the end of their financial year.
Meanwhile, while everyone else was reporting that abroad agreement had been reached between the clubs, Sport in Spain were putting the brakes on, insisting that De Jong was refusing to leave Barça and was even thinking of sacking his agent because of the pressure he was putting him under to join the Red Devils.
But Sport now appear to have come on board – or have been swept up by the optimism of the English press, and themselves are claiming that a deal will almost certainly be finalised this week, with the Catalans still needing to sell before they can buy in order to satisfy the financial fair play sanctions placed on them.
“According to sources close to the coach, the agreement is very close and there could be news next week,” Sport says.
“As for Barça, the figures would be split between a fixed and a variable portion, although the Blaugrana club wants to collect almost guaranteed 80 million euros.
“From there they are not going to reduce anything because they need this money to finance ambitious operations such as that of Bernardo Silva.
“There is no longer a rush to close because the financial year is closed, but all parties are clear that a solution must be found next week.”
Sport then climb down on their previous claim that the Dutchman is refusing to leave, stating that “He will only do so if United manage to pay him the contract that he would receive here in the coming years and that is inflated for having deferred part of his salary.”
De Jong has been holidaying in America but is now due to return home, another factor that could finally accelerate the transfer deal that Manchester United fans have been waiting for.