Manchester United are finally closing in on a deal to sign Frenkie de Jong after exhaustive negotiations with Barcelona. They have agreed to pay up to £71 million ($84m) to land Erik ten Hag's top transfer target, with personal terms not expected to be an issue for the Netherlands international.
Despite the midfielder’s public insistence that he wants to stay at Camp Nou, United remain confident he is open to a move to Old Trafford and a reunion with his former Ajax manager.
United and Barca had agreed an outline base fee of around £55m ($65m) earlier this summer, but it is believed that could now rise to up to £63m ($74.5m) up front, with the rest made up in add-ons.
How have United got the De Jong deal done?
As previously reported by GOAL, United always expected negotiations to be protracted in their pursuit of De Jong.
The 25-year-old was never going to push for a move away from the Catalan giants, while issues over deferred wages further complicated the transfer.
But the Dutchman is seen as pivotal to Ten Hag’s plans to introduce a possession-based system to United, with the move to sign Christian Eriksen also part of that thinking.
United's chief executive, Richard Arnold, and football director, John Murtough, both stayed behind rather than travel on the club’s tour of Thailand and Australia in a bid to push through United’s stalling transfer business.
They met with Barca officials in Catalunya this week to thrash out a deal for De Jong, and Barca’s signing of Raphinha from Leeds United has also increased their need to sell in a bid to raise funds.
How easy will agreeing terms with De Jong be?
Personal terms still have to be agreed with De Jong, but GOAL expects those negotiations to be concluded swiftly.
Despite the player’s preference being to stay at Barca, United have always been confident that he would accept a move to Old Trafford. That is why they have continued to negotiate for him in the belief that he would not reject a switch if a fee could be agreed with Barca.Getty Images
They have also been in regular contact with De Jong's agent, Ali Dursun, this summer over the signing of another of his clients, Tyrell Malacia.
Dursun, who also represents Donny van de Beek and Victor Lindelof, spent two days at United’s Carrington training ground earlier this month.
Who else will Man Utd sign this summer?
United's business has been slow so far this summer, but things are picking up speed now, with deals for De Jong, Eriksen and Lisandro Martinez all close to completion.
In terms of other targets, Ajax winger Antony remains a priority, but United are nearly £20m short of the Dutch champions’ £68m ($80m) asking price.
A right back is also on Ten Hag’s shortlist as he looks to upgrade on Aaron Wan-Bissaka and Diogo Dalot.