Manchester United’s pursuit of Barcelona midfielder Frenkie de Jong is continuing to drag on but the general consensus is that things are moving in the right direction.
De Jong was identified as Erik ten Hag’s prime target this summer and after several weeks of negotiations with Barcelona, an agreement on the initial fee has been reached.
Add-ons are yet to be ironed out and personal terms will need to be agreed before the deal can advance further, however. Barcelona are keen to sell their midfield star due to their financial situation.
And now, there is further clarity on why they depend on De Jong’s sale this summer.
According to the Manchester Evening News, the Catalan club have started to brief their summer targets that plans to press ahead of transfers will commence once they have the money from De Jong’s sale.
As per the report, De Jong is also accepting that his future lies away from the Spotify Camp Nou, with president Joan Laporta waiting for De Jong’s move to Old Trafford to go through before sanctioning incomings.
Furthermore, it’s claimed that Barcelona manager Xavi Hernandez personally reached out to De Jong in a bid to explain why he could end up leaving the club.
De Jong is believed to have had reservations about joining United at first but as per the MEN, Ten Hag reached out to the 25-year-old to ease those concerns.
With less than a week to go before United jet off to Thailand for their pre-season preparations, Ten Hag will be desperate for this one to be wrapped up as soon as possible.
United fans have been left frustrated by the protracted nature of the saga and it would be typically disastrous if the deal was not completed in time for him to take part in pre-season.
De Jong is due back from holiday next week and will report into training at Barcelona. For how long that lasts remains to be seen. Last year, Raphael Varane returned from his vacation at Real Madrid but left for Manchester after just one training session.