Manchester United and Barcelona have agreed an €85 million (£71.9 million) fee to sign Frenkie de Jong this summer. It has been reported by Fabrizio Romano that United will pay €75 million (£63.4 million) up front with €10 million (£8.4 million) in add-ons.
It has been many weeks since the initial report that suggested that United and Barcelona had agreed a base fee for the 25-year-old Dutch midfielder and very little had been done until this week when chief executive officer Richard Arnold and football director John Mortough flew to the Catalan city.
However, the deal is still not complete as De Jong has indicated that he does not want to leave the club this summer, digging his heels in regarding the potential sale. But Barcelona are said to have told him that they want him to leave the club this summer.
De Jong deferred his wages in 2020 because of the coronavirus pandemic and at this moment in time he is owed €20 million (£17 million) by the club. This could suggest why he has the stance that he does – seeking to get what he is owed, which is fair.
Romano has reported that personal terms are still to be agreed with the player and that is the problem at the moment because of De Jong’s stance on leaving the club. However, it could well be that Erik ten Hag could convince the player of his plans at Old Trafford.
From the 21 December 2017 until the summer of 2019 Ten Hag managed the Dutch midfielder at Ajax and perhaps that connection and a reunion with Donny van de Beek could well prove to be enough for the player to make the move to the Theatre of Dreams.
Spanish journalist Fernando Polo of Mundo Deportivo has reported that Barcelona have told De Jong that he needs to leave the club this summer with the offer on the table from United. It could well be that the player will accept that his time at the Catalan club is over because of this.
He dreamt of playing for Barcelona as a child and successfully made that move in the summer of 2019 – playing three seasons at the club. To be told to leave must leave a sour taste in his mouth which may work and see him leave, or make him dig his heels in even more.
During his time at Barcelona, De Jong has made a total of 138 appearances, scoring 13 goals and 17 assists. The saga is reaching its peak now. It is positive that United and Barcelona have agreed a fee but now the decision remains in De Jong’s court. Hopefully we will hear his decision soon.
Written by John Walker