Manchester United are nearing the completion of their first summer signing of Erik ten Hag’s new era at the Old Trafford club. Frenkie de Jong is close to a £69 million transfer from Catalan club Barcelona, according to reports from the Telegraph.
It has been stated that Ten Hag took his first training session with some of his new players earlier on Sunday and now looks set to be reunited with De Jong, 25, after a summer of speculation which would drag on for a number of weeks with United looking slow compared to their rivals.
Barcelona were said to be holding out for an €85 million (£73.2 million) transfer fee and an opening offer of £56 million was said to be turned down by the Catalan club. Negotiations seem to have reached a compromise over the weekend, which is good news for United and Barcelona.
There were reports on Saturday that the 25-year-old midfielder did not want to leave the Catalan club, which was the stance of certain Spanish journalists, but that seems to be wrong, providing that this news is well sources and turns out to be correct.
The £69 million fee stated is an €80 million bid which would see a slight profit for Barcelona compared to the fee they paid Ajax just three summers ago. United could have cut down the speculation weeks ago by paying the fee they were told to pay.
This sort of thing happens each and every transfer window where United are looking to bring in some new faces. This summer is different though – it needs to be successful based on the players who have left the club following the expiry of their contracts.
The report states that ‘United have yet to start discussing personal terms’ with the 25-year-old, which I am sure is something that may have been broached with intermediaries over the past few weeks – but probably not something that would be a problem for a club the size of United.
De Jong was part of the Ajax side that, albeit briefly, faced United in the final of the UEFA Europa League in 2017 which saw United win the trophy for the first time in the history of the club. The player blossomed under the guidance of Erik ten Hag, which will make this a good signing.
The Dutch manager identified the 25-year-old to help fix one of the main problems at United; the midfield. Following the departure of Paul Pogba and Nemanja Matić, United have been left with few players who could help kick this team on. De Jong will certainly help do just that.
Written by John Walker