Despite being pushed back once already, Manchester United are determined to sign Barcelona midfielder Frenkie De Jong.
The Red Devils, led by Dutch manager Erik ten Hag, are expected to bring in a handful of fresh faces this summer.
Following the exits of midfielder quartet Paul Pogba, Jesse Lingard, Nemanja Matic and Juan Mata, it is a given that the club’s transfer priority will be signing at least one new central midfielder.
Ten Hag’s preferred target is understood to be former Ajax midfielder, Frenkie De Jong. Not only is the 25-year-old a compatriot of ten Hag’s, but he is also one of the tactician’s old players.
The pair enjoyed a successful spell working together at Ajax, including a 2018-19 campaign that saw the Dutch side come within touching distance of reaching the UEFA Champions League final.
Keen to reunite their new manager with his top summer target, United’s hierarchy is believed to have been in ‘direct talks’ with the Catalan giants over a proposed £73m (€85m) deal for quite some time now.
Manchester United have opened direct talks with Barça for Frenkie de Jong. Price tag around €85m, waiting for opening bid. 🚨 #MUFC
De Jong is still not convinced to leave Barça and he wants UCL football – Man Utd will try to push again as Barça need to solve financial issues. pic.twitter.com/jT18D37sPK
— Fabrizio Romano (@FabrizioRomano) June 1, 2022
With the two clubs seemingly struggling to reach an agreement, the latest in the ongoing saga comes from Manchester Evening News, who are reporting the 20-time league winners are set to make an improved offer for the Netherlands international.
Although there is still plenty of time left before the summer transfer window closes at midnight on 1 September, following little to cheer about so far, the United-faithful will be hoping the club’s first major signing is announced sooner, rather than later.