Man Utd ‘make first official bid’ for Frenkie de Jong as Red Devils throw in £17m bonus

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Manchester United have reportedly opened the bidding for Barcelona midfielder Frenkie de Jong with an initial offer that could rise to around £68.3million when performance-related bonuses are taken into account. The Red Devils are thought to be keen on bringing De Jong to Old Trafford before the start of next season as Erik ten Hag looks to reinforce his midfield ranks over the coming weeks and months.

De Jong flourished under the guidance of Ten Hag before eventually joining Barcelona from Ajax back in 2019 and has been widely tipped to reunite with his former boss in Manchester in the not-too-distant future. It seems as though United have finally decided to firm up their interest in the Dutchman before the summer window opens on Friday, with Barcelona having received a first official bid in the region of £68.3m, according to Marca.

It is said that United’s offer consists of a £51.2m fixed transfer fee, with the Red Devils also throwing in another £17m in performance-related add-ons. However, it remains to be seen whether the bid will be enough to tempt Barcelona, who are said to be in no rush to sell De Jong before the start of the new campaign.

De Jong remains tied down to the Catalan giants until the summer of 2026 and is said to be a favourite of Xavi, who took charge towards the end of last year. The player is also believed to have concerns over a potential move to United due to the lack of Champions League football on offer, which suggests that personal terms could be difficult to agree for the Red Devils without paying over the odds.

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United’s recent offer is said to be under serious consideration, though, with the report claiming the total figure of £68.3m is relatively close to Barcelona’s valuation of De Jong. Ten Hag is also thought to have spoken to the midfielder to assure him that he would play a hugely important role at Old Trafford if he decides to jump ship over the next few weeks.

De Jong would certainly fit the profile of what Ten Hag is looking for at United, who are crying out for additional reinforcements in the middle of the park after deciding not to extend the contracts of Paul Pogba and Nemanja Matic. However, the Barcelona man recently suggested that he would need to be convinced to join the Red Devils because he would prefer to stay at the Nou Camp for the foreseeable future.

“I will not go into that,” he told Algemeen Dagblad when quizzed on United’s interest in his services earlier this month. “Not even about other names or clubs, I used to be naive and open-minded about it, I don’t do that anymore.

“I understand that that link is made. That sum is not that difficult, it is logical. I have enjoyed working with Ten Hag at Ajax and I can’t look into the future, of course. But I prefer to stay at Barcelona.

“That has always been my dream club and it still is. As long as I don’t hear from the club management, I assume nothing is going on.”

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