Manchester United’s attempts to secure Erik ten Hag’s primary target Frenkie de Jong from Barcelona has now entered its 13th week and it might not be long before the English club get their answer.
Barca president Joan Laporta has confirmed that the club has to register their new signings by August 13. And for the Catalan giants to register the likes of Raphinha, Robert Lewandowski, Jules Kounde, Andreas Christensen and Franck Kessie, they need to offload quite a number of their current players.
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The Dutch midfielder is their most saleable asset at the moment with both United and Premier League rivals Chelsea attempting to sign the diminutive playmaker.
FDJ agent in Barcelona
The Red Devils had already agreed a deal worth an initial £63 million with the Catalan giants and only the deferred wages issue has held back the deal for so long with Barca refusing to pay the £14million.
According to Spanish publication SPORT, the La Liga club are set to meet with the agents of De Jong and another wantaway star Martin Braithwaite to clear up their future by today.
The report states, “In the case of the former, Barcelona want to advance his potential move to Manchester United or Chelsea to earn a big transfer fee, although they want to know what the Dutchman‘s position is, first hand.”
Despite spending over £130million this transfer window, Barcelona cannot afford to pay what they owe De Jong and register their new players while staying withing La Liga’s salary cap.
Barca cannot pay FDJ
According to Marca‘s revelations, the Netherlands international is owed €16m to be spread over the remaining four years of his deal, plus an additional €1m to be paid in the final year.
On top of this, his basic salary and loyalty bonuses worth €15.6 million coupled with his appearance and performance-related add-ons could take the total figure well into nine figures.
The Catalan club want a solution and De Jong’s agent Ali Dursun is set to meet with the club hierarchy and decide on the next course of action. The player has time and again stated that he does not want to leave his dream club.
Despite Laporta’s public statements, the only option in Barca’s hands are his sale or forcing the Dutch footballer to take another pay cut.
United or Chelsea?
De Jong’s entourage has so far flatly refused to agree to yet another salary reduction especially considering the amount the club has spent on new players.
Chelsea have accelerated their attempts at convincing the 25-year-old and they think the prospect of playing in the Champions League and relocating to London might tilt the scale in their favour.
United are banking on the rapport shared between Ten Hag and De Jong during their Ajax days as the decisive factor which will prompt the player to choose Manchester as his next decision.
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