Man Utd still holding out De Jong hope

Jacque Talbot
Jacque Talbot
  • Updated: 11 Aug 2022 12:36 BST
  • 3 min read
Frenkie de Jong, Barcelona, 2022/23
© ProShots

Man Utd are still interested in Frenkie de Jong, manager Erik ten Hag’s number one transfer target this summer, but they have already missed an opportunity to sign the Barcelona midfielder, FootballTransfers understands.

Ten Hag prioritised the former Ajax star as his must-have signing this summer but complications around Barcelona owing him a sizeable amount of a deferred salary has held up the deal.

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The two clubs had agreed on an initial fee of €75 million which could rise to €85m almost a month ago but the sticking point has been the salary De Jong is owed by his current club, who are trying to force him out or get him to take a 50% wage reduction.

Despite suggestions that Man Utd could not legally cover the owed wage, we have learned that in fact it could be met by the Premier League side, but so far they have refused to cover the figure, meaning the saga has dragged on in an unprecedented fashion.

Chelsea set to pounce

It has also opened the door for Chelsea to push themselves firmly into the driver’s seat for the Netherlands international midfielder. Indeed, the Blues are ready to jump in and offer to cover the €17.5m owed to the 25-year-old and see where it takes them, with Thomas Tuchel and owner Todd Boehly being huge fans of the player.

However, Man Utd are still targeting the Dutchman and have not given up all hope yet.

Frenkie de Jong, Barcelona, 2021/22
© ProShots

We have been told that De Jong has always been open to a move to Old Trafford but the entry of Chelsea, who can offer Champions League football as well as being located in London, could be a deciding factor in the player’s mind.

Barcelona, meanwhile, are eager to rush through a transfer as quickly as possible, with FootballTransfers able to confirm they want De Jong to decide over his future on Thursday.

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