Manchester United will not give up in their pursuit of Frenkie de Jong despite Dutchman’s reluctance to leave Barcelona… but there is a contingency plan in place at Old Trafford with Wolves midfielder Ruben Neves a target
- Frenkie de Jong is still owed £17m in unpaid wages by his current club Barcelona
- Erik ten Hag is willing to wait until after the start of next season to sign de Jong
- Manchester United have lined up Ruben Neves as a potential alternative
- The Portuguese midfielder is valued by his current club Wolves at around £70m
Manchester United won’t give up their pursuit of Frenkie de Jong despite complications with the deal and concerns over the Holland star’s desire to move to Old Trafford.
United have agreed a £63million fee with Barcelona for their No.1 summer transfer target, which could rise by another £8.5m in add-ons.
However, De Jong is owed £17m in deferred wages by Barca, and United believe that’s the reason for the hold-up rather than any reluctance on the player’s part to move to England.
Frenkie de Jong is owed £17m in wages by Barcelona amid the club’s financial struggles
De Jong has said on several occasions that he would prefer to stay at the Nou Camp, and that has caused alarm among some United fans. However, Barcelona have made it clear that he needs to be sold to fund other transfers, and will even consider leaving him off their pre-season tour this weekend.
It’s understood that United won’t give up the chase for the 25-year-old midfielder even if takes until after the new season starts. The transfer window closes on September 1.
United accept there may come a point when they will have to accept defeat over signing De Jong and have a number of alternatives in mind, including Ruben Neves of Wolves. Wolves are willing to sell the Portugal midfielder this summer, as he has two years left on his contract and is unlikely to sign a new one as things stand.
Wolves value their star midfielder, the 25-year-old Ruben Neves, at around £70m
The Molineux club value Neves at about £70million, which no club has yet been willing to pay.
Yet they know that selling Neves is the simplest way to give boss Bruno Lage the funds to make the changes he wants.
However, new manager Erik ten Hag has made it clear that the former Ajax player is central to his plans so United will make every attempt to get the deal done.
Erik ten Hag is happy to wait until after the start of the 2022/23 season to secure de Jong
On the other hand, United don’t see any complication with signing Christian Eriksen as a free agent once he completes a medical, and have agreed terms with Ajax over a £46m move for centre-back Lisandro Martinez.
The Argentine is not expected to join his new teammates in Australia because it isn’t worth him making the long-distance journey with only one week of the tour to go.
The club are showing no sign of changing their stance over Cristiano Ronaldo despite being offered £25.5m by an unnamed club in Saudi Arabia. Ronaldo is also said to be cool on the idea even though he could have earned an astonishing £2.24m-a-week over two years.
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