Manchester United could still sign Frenkie de Jong from Barcelona this summer, according to Dutch journalist Marcel van Der Kraan.
United manager Erik ten Hag, who worked with De Jong during his time at Ajax, made the midfielder his top transfer target.
The Red Devils are in desperate need of midfield reinforcements after Nemanja Matic and Paul Pogba both left on free transfers at the end of last season.
United reached a deal with Barcelona over the 25-year-old and agreed to pay a guaranteed fee of €75million but De Jong reportedly has no intention of relocating to Manchester.
“I prefer to stay with Barcelona,” the Netherlands international told ESPN in May. “Barcelona is just my dream club. Also from a young age. I just said it too.
“I’ve never regretted my choice despite the fact that I had hoped for more in terms of prizes than I’ve achieved so far. But I have never regretted my choice.”
But there have been some conflicting reports that suggest De Jong is willing to join United and financial issues have been holding up the deal.
He is owed about £17million in deferred salary payments after he agreed to forgo a percentage of his wages to help the Spanish side deal with the financial storm of the pandemic.
The midfielder is still waiting for that money and is looking to settle the outstanding debts before making a decision on his future.
According to the Athletic, Barcelona have now told De Jong they want to annul his existing contract and return to the deal he was on before. They claim that the terms given to him by the club’s previous board involved criminality and provide grounds for legal action against those involved.
While a proposed transfer has become very complicated, Van Der Kraan has revealed that United are refusing to walk away from the deal and they’ve already got an agreement with De Jong’s agent.
“I understand, here at the Dutch end, that Frenkie de Jong is still an absolute number one priority for Erik ten Hag and the club,” he told Sky Sports News.
“They are certainly not giving up no matter what Frenkie says in Barcelona. They have a deal with the agent of the player and it just depends on what is happening in the political department at Barcelona over his wages, which they still owe him.”
🗣 “It’s not close but he’s definitely on their target list.”
Marcel Van Der Kraan reflects on the latest of Cody Gakpo to Manchester United, with Frenkie de Jong still being linked with the club pic.twitter.com/rNwKpk2Vyw
— Football Daily (@footballdaily) August 10, 2022
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