The Frenkie de Jong transfer saga is going to come to an end sooner or later with time running out to get a deal concluded with the summer transfer window due to close in just over a fortnight. Manchester United have been linked to the player all summer.
United and Barcelona have already closed a £72 million deal for the player but everything ground to a halt ahead of the two clubs heading away on their pre-season tours earlier in the summer. De Jong is owed £17 million in deferred wages by Barcelona and that has complicated things too.
However, it is being reported by Mundo Deportivo’s Roger Torelló that Barcelona are ‘pushing him [De Jong] to accept Manchester United’s offer’ this summer. That said, we have all heard these semi-positive stories throughout the summer.
One big factor in the De Jong saga is Chelsea, who are tipped to be interested in the player with reports all over Europe suggesting that the London club would be the preferred destination for the Netherlands international this summer.
The problem there is that Chelsea would have the same problem as United – the £17 million in deferred wages owed to the player from Barcelona. If United have that to overcome, Chelsea would need to also – neither should offer to pay it as it is Barcelona’s concern to solve.
However, it is reported in Spain, via Sport Witness that Thomas Tuchel’s side are ‘close to throwing in the towel’, which if correct suggests that the whole Chelsea interest could have been a media and Barcelona ploy to get United to blink first and pay the £17 million.
One thing is for sure though, United have refused to rule themselves out of signing their number one target this summer and still have the belief that it could be done, even if it is just Erik ten Hag who believes that. There must be some belief from United that they could complete the deal.
On Saturday the Manchester Evening News reported that De Jong has supposedly told Barcelona teammates that he could be leaving the Catalan club this summer. Obviously this has been used to boost United supporters hopes that De Jong could sign for the Old Trafford club.
United definitely need a big boost after losing their first two Premier League matches this season, looking even worse in the 4-0 defeat to Brentford than they did in the 2-1 defeat to Brighton and Hove Albion. United face Liverpool at Old Trafford a week on Monday, so fingers crossed.
Written by John Walker