Manchester United’s pursuit of Frenkie de Jong is entering its eighth week and despite the Premier League curtain-raiser against Brighton being just three weeks away, United look to be no closer to welcoming the midfielder to the club.
United have reached an agreement with Barcelona over a transfer fee but there are other hurdles to overcome before a transfer can be finalised.
De Jong is yet to give his blessing and the Dutchman is owed £17m in deferred wages, having agreed to a temporary pay cut in 2020 during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Earlier this week, Barcelona director Mateu Alemany admitted that La Liga rules could force them into selling De Jong but a deal has been thrown into doubt after the 25-year-old was named in their US tour squad.
Now, it’s being claimed that United are prepared to walk away from a deal to reunite De Jong with Erik ten Hag if the issues with his wages cannot be resolved.
That’s according to The Guardian, who add that United are willing to pursue De Jong beyond the start of their league campaign, hinting that this protracted saga is set for yet another extension.
De Jong’s inclusion in Barcelona’s pre-season squad is the clearest indication yet that no deal is close to being finalised and should United continue to pursue this, supporters should brace themselves for a long summer.
United have already signed Tyrell Malacia and Christian Eriksen, with Ajax defender Lisandro Martinez expected to be confirmed imminently.
De Jong is likely to be their final top target and Ten Hag will be urging the club to sort it out sooner rather than later but at this point, it looks like everything is out of their hands.
United are, however, wise to consider other alternatives as there is value in signing another player to familiarise with Ten Hag’s style.