Manchester United are edging closer towards securing their first signing of the summer, with Frenkie de Jong the subject of intense interest from Erik ten Hag.
United’s new manager earmarked De Jong as his number one transfer target this summer and after several weeks of negotiations, it’s finally looking like United are getting their man.
Earlier on Saturday, it emerged that an agreement between United and Barcelona was getting closer, with the Old Trafford club targetting to get the deal over the line by the end of the month.
Pre-season officially gets underway this Monday, with the first group of players due back within 24 hours as they prepare for the tour of Asia, with United jetting off on July 8.
The second group of players, those who have been involved in international fixtures in June, will return closer to the July date and now, it’s being hoped that De Jong will be part of that group and walk through the Carrington doors in time for this summer’s tour.
That’s according to ESPN, who add that there is now belief from both Barcelona at United that an agreement is close.
This summer’s tour of Asia will be the first overseas pre-season since 2019, with 2020 and 20201’s preparations both held domestically due to the COVID-19 crisis.
Ten Hag will be desperate for not only De Jong but additional signings as well, to be present on the flight when United leave next month.
The importance of conditioning his new players during pre-season cannot be understated and after lengthy negotiations with Barcelona, it would be a waste to wait until after pre-season to introduce De Jong to the rest of the squad.
United’s stance of not wanting to budge in negotiations is understandable but there is also value in agreeing a deal sooner. United fans will be desperate for this saga to end.