Manchester United fans might be sick of the name by now but Frenkie de Jong, the Barcelona midfielder, is undeniably the club’s number one target in Erik ten Hag’s first transfer window in charge of the club.
The Dutch pair enjoyed 18 successful months together at Ajax and amid Barcelona’s difficult financial landscape, the 53-year-old is now planning to reunite with the midfielder at Old Trafford.
Earlier this week, it was reported that United were placing any other dealings on the back burner as they focused on completing an agreement to sign De Jong.
Now, reports from Spain claim De Jong is edging closer towards a move to United. That’s according to Sport, via Sport Witness, who say that ‘little by little,’ De Jong is getting closer to that elusive Old Trafford move.
As per the report, the difference in valuation between the two clubs stands at €15m but it’s still suggested that De Jong will end up moving to United.
Of course, United fans would like to see the club wrap this one up as soon as possible but in truth, in a summer where the budget is smaller than it has been for several years, playing it slowly might not be the worst move.
The lack of Champions League revenue has seriously dented the club’s ability to spend and it comes just one year after a full season without matchday revenue came to an end.
Furthermore, United are awful at generating cash flow through sales and none of that is expected this summer either. So their reluctance to pay whatever Barcelona are asking for is understandable.
But despite all that, it’s a transfer that simply has to get done and Ten Hag will be desperate for that to happen sooner rather than later.