Frenkie de Jong is set to ‘come to his senses’ and agree to move to Manchester United, who will make a ‘final offensive’ to sign the midfielder from Barcelona.
You, like us, are probably bored of all this by now. But to sum up: United and manager Erik ten Hag are desperate for De Jong; Barcelona want him to leave so they can afford the players they’ve already bought; the clubs have agreed a fee of around €85m; De Jong wants to stay at Barcelona for ‘football reasons’ and because he’s owed £17m in wages.
That’s the story so far, and rumours of United giving up are apparently wide of the mark, according to Sport, who claim director John Murtough will make one last ditch attempt to secure the signing of the 25-year-old.
Barcelona have told De Jong that he will need to take a pay cut of around 40 per cent to remain at the Nou Camp, but United are willing to match his current salary and have agreed to pay the £17m arrears he has with the Catalan club.
It would reportedly make him the highest-paid player at Old Trafford and United are said to consider this an ‘irrefutable’ offer and Murtough will tavel to Barcelona for one last meeting in an attempt to ‘solve the matter’.
The report also cites Cristiano Ronaldo – whom De Jong would usurp as the club’s highest earner – as a ‘problem’ for the Dutch midfielder, who would ‘prefer to explore other options such as Chelsea and Bayern Munich’.
De Jong has essentially been told to fall into line by Joan Laporta with the Barcelona president telling the United target to “make an effort” to reduce the club’s wage bill.
“He wants to stay and we want him to stay. That is the most important,” Laporta said on Friday.
“What is clear is that we have a new salary scale and all the players have to fit into it. We are trying to make these players understand the reality of the club.
“We find ourselves with a salary mass triggered by more than 40 per cent. We all have to make an effort.
“We are going to do everything possible to make him stay and we hope that the player will also do everything possible to stay.”
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