Manchester United are ready to stay the course in their pursuit of Frenkie de Jong despite the lack of movement on the deal in recent days, 90min understands.
De Jong was established as United’s primary summer transfer target under new manager Erik ten Hag, and that remains the case. United have agreed a deal with Barcelona to sign the Dutch midfielder worth an overall €85m, with €75m in guaranteed payments should the deal be completed.
The hold up on the transfer remains, however, as De Jong is owed as much as £17m in deferred wages following his wage cut to help Barcelona navigate the pandemic. Barcelona have yet to agree to pay the amount back to De Jong and no transfer is expected to be completed without the issue resolving itself first.
Barcelona, despite activating two financial ‘levers’ this summer to boost their short term cash position, are still set to struggle to register every player in their existing squad – so some will need to leave. De Jong is considered the highest value asset they are willing to part ways with, earning the most amount of money.
The club have a salary cap to meet and their position has made Barcelona open to reaching the agreement they have made with United for De Jong.
Memphis Depay is another player Barcelona are looking to offload, though his earning and saving potential is far smaller. Barcelona have signed Robert Lewandowski and are now looking for a buyer for Memphis- a former United player – and Memphis has been offered back to United.
90min understands however he is not a player they are focusing on signing at this point.
Some reports in Spain have suggested that Barcelona manager Xavi is set to sit with both De Jong and Memphis on their pre-season tour of the United States and indicate that it is best if both join new clubs.
United sources insist they will stay the course on De Jong for as long as it takes this summer to bring him to Old Trafford, with confidence in the club that they will still complete the transfer. United believe they have too much invested in the deal and the player to withdraw, while he is considered essential to Ten Hag’s style of play being implemented.
De Jong is understood to appreciate United’s pursuit, and knows they are doing everything they can to complete the transfer on their end. De Jong has spoken to Ten Hag on a number of occasions since he joined United and is open to the transfer, despite suggestions otherwise.