Manchester United have told Barcelona that they would like to get a deal to sign Frenkie de Jong done by Friday after chief executive officer Richard Arnold and football director John Murtough were in the Catalan city to speak to the Dutchman’s club.
Alex Crook of talkSPORT has already reported that United and Barcelona have a fee of £56 million plus add-ons verbally agreed, which has been the story for weeks now with no real developments. However, the money De Jong is owed by Barcelona has been the sticking point.
It was stated in The Telegraph last week that Barcelona signed De Jong on a five-year contract in 2019 on a £12 million a year wage. That was reduced by £9.4 million for the 2020/21 season and by £4.3 million during the 2021/22 season – meaning De Jong is owed £13.7 million in deferred wages.
Added to that, the Netherlands international is owed a further £3.4 million in waived bonuses because he played in at least 60% of Barcelona’s matches over those two seasons. That means Barcelona will owe the player £17.1 million, which has held up the transfer.
It seems that there was no easy way to get this done and therefore is has dragged on and bored people with the same news being regenerated time and time again into new stories with Spanish sources suggesting that the player does not want the transfer.
The media followed suit by linking De Jong to Chelsea and suggesting that the London club could beat United to the signature of the Dutchman, which just did not seem plausible at the time based on the fact the same wage issue would still be present and need sorting out.
United have signed Tyrell Malacia so far this summer, arriving for around £13 million from Feyenoord. Christian Eriksen is tipped to sign for the club, although nothing has been confirmed as yet. United have also been seeking to sign Lisandro Martínez from Ajax – but still have work to do.
Erik ten Hag will manage his first match for the club before any developments could happen in the chase for De Jong this summer, facing Liverpool at the Rajamangala National Stadium in Bangkok, Thailand before heading to Australia for three more matches.
Perhaps by the end of the week, when United play their second match of the pre-season tour, there could be some good news with United’s transfer targets starting to show signs of the effort and hard work being put into them by finally looking to be completed.
Written by John Walker