Manchester United’s pursuit of Frenkie de Jong is dragging on on account of Barcelona’s insistence that their asking price is met. United have made De Jong their primary transfer goal this summer, but landing Erik ten Hag’s former player has proven to be a difficult task.
Ten Hag is eager to sign some midfielders this summer, with Paul Pogba, Nemanja Matic, Jesse Lingard and Juan Mata all leaving the club. He has asked his latest club to push for De Jong, who he worked with at Ajax and feels would suit the playing style he desires to implement at Old Trafford.
Barcelona are completely happy to sell – but provided that United stump up the best sum of money. Barca are mired in £1billion of debt and have been told by La Liga that they should operate more conservatively this summer. The Spanish giants are signing Franck Kessie and Andreas Christensen on free signings, but some other additions must be funded by outgoing players, with restrictions meaning they will only reinvest a 3rd of what they make on transfers.
In accordance with The Mirror, that’s the reason Barca are asking United that they should pay upwards of £70million in the event that they want De Jong. Barcelona paid Ajax £65m, plus an extra £9.5m in add-ons, after they signed the Netherlands international from Ajax in January 2019 and need to a minimum of get their a reimbursement.
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United are in a little bit of a difficult position. As Express Sport have reported, Ten Hag wants clarity over De Jong and Eriksen before he begins pre-season preparations at Carrington on Monday. That urgency means United is perhaps tempted to cave into Barcelona’s demands to hurry up the method.
Nevertheless, they needs to be wary about doing so. They only need to take a look at Pogba to recall the pitfalls of such a transfer stance. Pogba is about to depart United on a free transfer for the second time in his profession and this time hurts specifically on account of the cash spent on the French midfielder.
United paid Juventus a world-record fee of £89m for Pogba back in August 2016 and handed him a five-year contract value around £290,000 per week. On the time United were eager to land their former player, who had enjoyed some impressive seasons for Juve and, in theory, had loads of potential for improvement at 23 years old.
Juventus sensed that desperation and, alongside Pogba’s former agent Mino Raiola, did all they may to inflate the transfer fee. The cash involved was jaw-dropping and didn’t work out. This time around, as United try to start out a latest era under Ten Hag, they might be smart to carry firm with Barca and negotiate an excellent price.
Barcelona must sell De Jong. They are usually not in a powerful position financially. United can flip the narrative on its head and get the perfect deal possible. Ten Hag might want clarity over his squad for the 2022/23 season, but when he really wants De Jong, he may should be patient.