Man Utds Frenkie de Jong pursuit impacted by La Liga as Barcelona play hardball

Manchester United's pursuit of Barcelona star Frenkie de Jong is being hampered by a La Liga ruling.

De Jong, 25, is the No 1 target for Old Trafford chiefs this summer after Erik ten Hag expressed his desire to reunite with his former Ajax midfielder. So far they have struggled to reach an agreement with the Catalan giants.

United's offer for the Dutch international, said to be around £60million with a further £5m in add-ons, is short of Barca's estimation of £80m. The two clubs are in a standoff as things stands, and it's all because of La Liga's financial restrictions.

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They've punished cash-strapped Barca for breaking their salary cap by limiting them to spending only a third of what they make through player sales or save from their wages.

De Jong is being used as a fund-raiser, so president Joan Laporta is looking to get as much money out of him as possible – hence why they are not willing to budge on their asking price.

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United, meanwhile, are also reluctant to give in. Ten Hag is overseeing a major overhaul of the squad in the transfer market with several signings expected, so he needs all the millions he can get his hands on.

Paying over the odds for De Jong isn't desirable, therefore. They could be forced to look to alternative options if Barca don't compromise, with a central midfielder their priority following free agent Paul Pogba's exit.

Wolves' Ruben Neves has been a long-time target and should be cheaper than De Jong. And Christian Eriksen has also been linked with a move to Manchester.

Elsewhere, a deal for another of Ten Hag's former players, winger Antony, appears to nearing completion. United officials have flown to Amsterdam to try and wrap up it up for £40m.

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