Manchester United have been advised to give up on a deal to sign Frenkie de Jong if they cannot get a deal over the line this week with negotiations ‘stalling’ after a latest breakdown in talks.
United have been locked in talks with Barcelona over a number of weeks with Erik ten Hag making the Dutchman his no1 transfer target.
With a number of issues complicating the deal, United CEO Richard Arnold and director of football John Murtough have travelled out to Barcelona this week, meeting with club officials on Monday.
Latest reports in Spain claim United have agreed a fee of €65million up front with €20m in add-ons with the sticking point the matter of €17million in deferred wages owes to de Jong.
Sport report United are not currently prepared to cover that fee and are looking into other ‘formulas’ to get the deal done.
However, the report adds de Jong’s advisors have now issued an ultimatum, warning the Premier League side to get a deal wrapped up this week or ‘give up’.
With the club still under financial pressure, Barcelona have asked the 25-year-old to take a salary decrease which would allow him to stay at the club beyond this summer.
Fabrizio Romano reports however that De Jong’s representatives Ali Dursun and Hasan Cetinkaya have informed Barcelona that de Jong will not be forced out and will not consider taking a salary reduction, with a proposed move to United ‘stalling’ as a result.
United got their pre-season campaign off to a winning start with a thumping 4-0 win over Liverpool in Thailand on Tuesday with Tyrell Malacia their only new recruit.
Ten Hag has identified midfield and attack as areas he is keen to strengthen before the season starts.
‘We want to have the right players,’ said Ten Hag on Monday.
‘We have a really good squad, we are working on to develop our way of playing and if the opportunity is there we will strike [to sign new players].
‘I said already definitely we are searching for players in midfield and I think that we have a need in offence. We are still working for players.’
Asked specifically about the club’s pursuit of De Jong, Ten Hag refused to get drawn on the speculation.
‘I never talk about players that are not contracted to Manchester United. I cannot tell anything about this issue.’
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