Manchester United are refusing to give up on signing Frenkie de Jong despite claims the Barcelona midfielder has told the club he does not want to join them.
After weeks of negotiations, the Red Devils finally struck a deal with Barca on Wednesday and have agreed to pay £63million up front in addition to a further £10m in add-ons and bonuses.
However, the deal still remains on a knife edge with widespread reports in Spain claiming De Jong has no intention of swapping the sunshine of Catalonia for Manchester.
On Thursday, newspaper Sport claimed De Jong’s agent, Ali Dursun, had met with United CEO Richard Arnold as well as football director John Murtough and told them they were ‘wasting their time’.
The 25-year-old and his girlfriend are happy and settled in Barcelona, recently buying a house in the Pedralbes neighbourhood.
A further article claimed De Jong had even told his team-mates that it was ‘impossible’ for him to leave Camp Nou, particularly with no Champions League football on offer at Old Trafford.
But now The Sun report that United bosses are ignoring the rumours and speculation in the Spanish press and are totally convinced that De Jong is open to joining the Red Devils.
The club would not be pursuing the deal if there was any doubt over his commitment to making the move and he was sounded out before entering into final negotiations with Barca.
De Jong has also had several conversations with new United boss Erik ten Hag, who was his manager at Ajax.
Instead, United have pinned the hold up on Barcelona and an issue of unpaid wages, with De Jong having agreed to take a temporary pay cut during the pandemic on the understanding he would be paid back later.
Previous reports have suggested that De Jong was owed £17m in arrears, but The Sun claim the figure is closer to £24m.
Barcelona want United to pay it – or otherwise the sale of De Jong will do little to ease their financial fair play issues – but Old Trafford chiefs have baulked at their demands and are refusing.
Nevertheless, United do not intend to walk away from the deal and are committed to getting the transfer over the line, with Arnold and Murtough still working to try and resolve an incredibly delicate issue.
In better news for United, the club confirmed the signing of free agent Christian Eriksen on Friday and are hoping to announce a deal for Ajax defender Lisandro Martinez over the weekend.
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