De Jong quizzed on Man Utd transfer links in June
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Manchester United want to sign Frenkie de Jong from Barcelona before the transfer window shuts. And it seems like the Red Devils are now chasing a third agreement, with two things already set in stone. Whether the 25-year-old ends up joining Casemiro at Old Trafford, however, remains to be seen…
Manchester United moved to sign Casemiro towards the end of last week, with the Red Devils agreeing to pay £60million for the Brazil international and give him a five-year contract.
But while many have claimed the Red Devils’ pursuit of the player is over, that doesn’t appear to be the case.
According to 90min, United are set to make one last push to try and bring the Netherlands international to Old Trafford. With the close of the summer transfer window edging closer, they’re primed to up the ante.
And the third agreement the Red Devils need is one with De Jong himself.
Currently, there are two agreements set in stone when it comes to luring the 25-year-old to the club this summer.
The first, and it’s a significant one, is between Erik ten Hag and the club’s hierarchy.
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United haven’t always been aligned on targets. In previous years, David Moyes, Louis van Gaal, Jose Mourinho and Ole Gunnar Solskjaer have asked for certain deals – only to be told that won’t be allowed to happen.
But with the Red Devils enduring a difficult start to the season, despite Monday’s win over Liverpool, the need for reinforcements is evident.
And Murtough is willing to work on De Jong at the request of Ten Hag, who previously managed the Barcelona star during their time at Ajax.
That may explain why the 52-year-old stopped short of saying he’d been ‘let down’ by his superiors during a recent interview with Sky Sports pair Jamie Carragher and Gary Neville.
And it bodes well for United that, behind the scenes, Murtough and Ten Hag are both aligned when it comes to the player.
A second agreement the Red Devils have regarding De Jong is a fee with Barcelona, who are eager to get him off the wage bill so they can register Jules Kounde.
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Kounde decided to leave Sevilla for the Nou Camp earlier in the summer, having previously been a transfer target for Chelsea.
But he’s been unable to play in La Liga, with Barcelona prioritising the registrations of the likes of Robert Lewandowski, Andreas Christensen, Raphinha and Franck Kessie instead.
United spent months haggling on a price tag for De Jong earlier in the transfer window.
And they’re believed to have struck an agreement for an initial £63million, that will then rise to £72m with add-ons.
Since then, however, things have gone quiet.
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It’s believed money owed to De Jong by Barcelona is a sticking point, with the midfielder reluctant to leave while the club are still in his debt.
At the start of the coronavirus pandemic in March 2020, the Barcelona No 21 agreed to take a temporary pay cut.
But while Barcelona have been happy to splash the cash on new recruits, De Jong is still left without the cash he’s entitled to.
Once that issue is sorted, amid the Catalan giants’ willingness to negotiate a cheaper contract with the player, De Jong’s future will become clearer.
Yet United still believe they stand a chance of bringing the former Ajax star to the Premier League and reuniting him with Ten Hag.
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There’s even said to be confidence a deal will eventually happen, especially given how the Red Devils have put all their resources into the operation.
And De Jong isn’t the only signing United want to make late in the window as they look to accelerate progress under Ten Hag.
A new right-back is being eyed at a time where Aaron Wan-Bissaka and Brandon Williams, who were previously highly-rated by Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, are on the market.
A back-up goalkeeper is wanted, too, with David De Gea enduring a difficult start to the season.
And United also want a new forward, with Cody Gakpo and Antony two of the players currently in their sights.
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