Manchester United and Barcelona are both clear that the fee to lure Frenkie de Jong from the Catalan club to the Old Trafford club will be €85 million (£73.4 million) which includes a guaranteed fee of €65 million (£56.2 million) before add-ons, according to Fabrizio Romano.
Reports emerged on Tuesday which gave the impression that the two clubs were over the impasse regarding the transfer of the 25-year-old midfielder. Some reports suggest that De Jong is refusing to leave the Catalan club, which seems to be a rehash of reports in Spain at the weekend.
If that was the case, I don’t think United and Barcelona would have got this far in the transfer discussion as presumably the player would have been sounded out over a move, either directly by the Catalan club or through his agent, Ali Dursan.
A report by Jamie Jackson of The Guardian confirms that the fee, €65 million guaranteed fee, rising to €85 million with add-ons has been agreed in principle and that the next stage would be ‘centred around the player’s personal terms’ which is necessary to complete the deal.
It may well be that the transfer can be sorted out in the next few days but it will not be done by the close of business on Thursday, which Barcelona had hoped, making their finances look better for their end of season financial documents. That could well be a blow for them.
But for United, this transfer which has ran for 50 days, could finally be coming to an end with Erik ten Hag getting his number one target of the summer. There has already been some good news with Tyrell Malacia’s deal to Lyon being hijacked by United and the player heading to Manchester.
United have also offered a contract to Christian Eriksen, who recently delayed the decision for his future to look at the options and the class of player being signed by United. He will want first team football and should get that at United, but might see more minutes at Brentford.
With De Jong at United, it would see the midfield strengthened with Bruno Fernandes, Donny van de Beek, Scott McTominay and Fred as the experienced players with James Garner possibly being added to the first team. Eriksen would initially rival Fernandes and Van de Beek.
However, he could also occupy the pivot in a 4-2-3-1 formation, or as one of the other midfielders in a 4-3-3 formation. A trio of De Jong, Fernandes or Van de Beek and Eriksen could be good for United, especially for controlling the midfield and pushing creativity towards the attacking players.
Written by John Walker