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Man Utd target Frenkie de Jong is prepared to take a pay cut to secure his future at Barcelona, according to reports in Spain.
The Red Devils have been chasing the signing of De Jong for over two months now but there is yet to be a resolution over his future.
Widespread reports had claimed that Barcelona and Man Utd have agreed an €85m fee but Joan Laporta, the president of the Catalan giants, yesterday denied a deal had been struck.
“Frenkie de Jong is our player, we really like him” Laporta told ESPN. “We received some offers for Frenkie but we didn’t accept as of now, as we want to talk with him and know exactly what he wants. We need to clarify some aspects of his situation.”
There have been reports that the main hold up in him joining Man Utd was because of £17m owed to him by Barcelona in deferred wages and bonuses from the height of the Covid-19 pandemic.
But a report from Spanish newspaper AS now claims that Barcelona boss Xavi is ‘counting on him’ this season with the Spaniard asking for ‘an effort’ from De Jong if he wants to stay.
De Jong earns around €30m gross in wages per season and Barcelona are looking to reduce that by ‘almost half’ to comply with their wage structure.
This is the only way that ‘Xavi guarantee that he will continue playing for Barcelona’ with the coach explaining the ‘harsh reality’ to De Jong in a meeting.
Sources have told AS that both De Jong and Xavi ‘left the meeting satisfied’ and ‘everything indicates that the Dutchman was receptive to making an economic effort to facilitate the registration’ of new players.
The ‘forecast’ is now that De Jong ‘will end up staying’ at Barcelona next season but Xavi will be ‘forced to do without him’ if he fails to meet Barcelona’s ‘condition’ after their ‘cards were placed face up’ on the table.
And former Premier League striker Gabby Agbonlahor thinks Man Utd need to move on from De Jong in their pursuit of a new midfielder.
“It’s going to come to the stage where Man Utd need to have some self-respect,”Agbonlahor told Football Insider.
“A club of Man United’s stature, how have they fallen where De Jong has said ‘Let me keep you on hold and make my mind up in a couple of months’.
“That isn’t how Man United are used to being treated, usually it’s ‘I’ll sign for Man United, let’s get it done’. It’s a bit embarrassing for them the longer it goes on, to be honest.
“Maybe they’ve got to give him an ultimatum and say ‘There is this date. You either sign or we are moving on to other players’.”
The article Man Utd target De Jong leaves meeting ‘satisfied’ as Barcelona intend to slash wages in half appeared first on Football365.com.