The transfer saga of the summer, Manchester United’s pursuit of Barcelona’s Frenkie de Jong, may finally be reaching a conclusion as the two clubs have now reportedly reached full agreement over a deal.
United’s CEO Richard Arnold and director of football John Murtough jetted off to Barcelona yesterday to try to close the deal and various reports from Spain claim that the €65m plus €20m in add-ons deal is now sealed.
The story was originally broken by reporter Oriol Domenech on the TV programme Onze and has also been relayed by Mundo Deportivo.
Mundo says that the United delegation “met with Mateu Alemany, Jordi Cruyff and Rafa Yuste at the Tritón restaurant, near the Camp Nou.
“Arnold and Murtough were already last Thursday at the Vía Veneto restaurant, the day it was known that Laporta, Yuste and Alemany had eaten there but it had not transpired who they had been with.
“After the meeting with the United leaders, Mateu Alemany went to the Ciutat Esportiva, where he met Xavi Hernández and informed him of the intentions of the English emissaries and the conditions agreed with them regarding De Jong’s price.”
With the pair reportedly staying overnight in Catalunya, it would appear there is still work to do on the deal and that, presumably, is to thrash out an agreement with the player.
🚨 FC Barcelona y Manchester United habrían cerrado un acuerdo por Frenkie de Jong
☝ La última palabra la tendrá el jugador, que deberá decidir si se queda en el Barça o pone rumbo a la Premier Leaguehttps://t.co/I57aodAo4M
— Mundo Deportivo (@mundodeportivo) July 11, 2022
This has been complicated by the fact that De Jong is owed €17 million in back wages by Barcelona, who cannot afford to pay them back to him in full at the moment.
Another issue that won’t go away is the repeated reports that the Dutchman is simply refusing to leave the Blaugrana, although as we have already said here, surely must be taken with a pinch of salt.
United simply wouldn’t have been incompetent enough to come this far without having sounded the 25 year old out on his willingness to come to Old Trafford.
In addition as journalist Rob Blanchette pointed out on Twitter, the club has already had several meetings with De Jong’s agent Ali Dursun over the last couple of weeks. He is also Tyrell Malacia’s agent.
This is Ali Dursun: Agent of Frenkie de Jong, Tyrell Malacia, Donny van de Beek & Victor Lindelof. He spent last week in Manchester negotiating with Ten Hag, Murtough & Arnold. He's now in Barcelona to find a conclusion with the #MUFC CEO & DoF. It's Barcelona's move, next… pic.twitter.com/rIKBgh3BBi
— Rob Blanchette (@_Rob_B) July 11, 2022
The Red Devils are reported to want the deal closed by Friday, which would also make sense for the other parties and avoid De Jong having to board the plane for Barça’s pre-season tour.
Given the circumstances it is reasonable to expect news on this protracted saga over the next 48 hours, one way or the other.
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