Manchester United’s £55m pursuit of Frenkie de Jong’ hits ANOTHER stumbling block as his agents insist he doesn’t want to leave Barcelona this summer’… but he’s also ‘refusing to take a pay cut to stay at the Nou Camp’
- Frenkie de Jong has told Barcelona that he has no interest in leaving the club
- Manchester United are desperate to sign the Dutch midfielder this summer
- The two clubs have agreed a package for De Jong worth an initial £55million
- But De Jong wants to stay put and not take a pay cut to ease the club’s troubles
Manchester United have been dealt a blow in their pursuit of Frenkie de Jong after the Dutchman’s agent told Barcelona that he has no interest in leaving this summer.
Sportsmail reported on Monday how United’s Richard Arnold and John Murtough were in Spain to thrash out a deal with Barca sporting director Jordi Cruyff, director of football Mateu Alemany and sports vice-president Rafa Yuste at the Triton Restaurante.
The two clubs have agreed a package for De Jong worth an initial £55million that could potentially rise to £72m and it is now up to the player to decide where his future lies.
Manchester United target Frenkie de Jong has told Barcelona he has no interest in leaving
New United boss Erik ten Hag wants De Jong at Old Trafford as the new leader of his midfield
But, according to The Guardian, United have been informed by De Jong’s agents – Ali Dursun and Hasan Cetinkaya – that the 25-year-old wants to stay put in Spain.
It is a huge blow for United boss Erik ten Hag, who wants to reunite with his former Ajax player and make him the heartbeat of his side’s midfield.
Worryingly for Barcelona, however, is that De Jong is also ‘not open to reducing his salary’ after already agreeing to defer around £17m in wages during the pandemic.
Reports in Spain on Tuesday suggested Barcelona had told De Jong to take a ‘substantial pay cut’ if he wanted to stay because of the club’s perilous financial position.
Mundo Deportivo report that Alemany and Cruyff, as well as Xavi, sat down with De Jong, 25, ahead of his first training session back and explained the situation.
They reportedly told De Jong that if he wishes he to stay at Barcelona, he will be required to take a significant cut on his £5m-a-year salary.
Joan Laporta is happy to keep De Jong but only if the Dutchman agrees to take a pay cut
Selling him for the fee agreed would significantly ease Barcelona’s well-documented financial concerns, both in terms of an injection of cash but also reducing the wage bill.
Barcelona have already spent big on Leeds winger Raphinha while they are desperately trying to sign Bayern Munich striker Robert Lewandowski.
Xavi is reportedly keen to have the situation resolved before Barcelona fly out to the United States on July 16 for a two-week pre-season tour.
Barcelona paid Ajax around £72m to sign De Jong in the summer of 2019 and he has since played 140 matches for the club.
De Jong would be able to continue playing Champions League football if he finds a way to stay at Barcelona, while United will compete in the Europa League next season.
An offer of £45m from United will be enough to make the breakthrough for Lisandro Martinez
However, in a boost for Ten Hag, it appears United have a clear path to complete a deal for Ajax defender Lisandro Martinez.
Further talks between the two camps were held on Wednesday after United had been battling Arsenal for the versatile Argentine defender.
Ajax have been steadfast in holding out for a fee beyond the £38m proposed by both Premier League clubs.
Arsenal have had two offers rejected with their last, coming in at £34m plus add-ons up to £38m.
Sportsmail reported on July 8 that United had tabled a fresh £43m offer and Arsenal will now not be matching that bid. Indeed, a final offer of £45m from United will be enough to make the breakthrough that will get Martinez to Manchester.
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