Manchester United are ‘closer to a deal’ with Barcelona for Frenkie de Jong after the latest round of talks between the two clubs.
That’s according to Sport, who say the Dutchman now has a ‘serious chance’ of leaving the Nou Camp and joining Erik ten Hag at Old Trafford.
The newspaper reports that the Manchester United and Barcelona are ‘very close’ to reaching an agreement for the midfielder, who would leave in a ‘financially advantageous sale agreement’ for the Catalans.
They’ve reportedly been holding ‘direct talks’ with their counterparts from Manchester United, and they’ve had a positive outcome, with a deal for a figure close to €80m now in the offing.
That would be a ‘financial boost’ for Barcelona, who desperately need to raise funds to ease their stricken finances.
Talks between Barcelona and Manchester United started before the end of the La Liga season when Ten Hag was confirmed as the new man in charge at Old Trafford.
United officials had showed their interest at the beginning of May, asking Barcelona if a deal would be possible or if they should look elsewhere.
Barcelona made it clear they were willing to negotiate as long as ‘multi-million dollar’ sums were involved. They would only sell De Jong for a ‘price they could not refuse’.
Manchester United have been working since that point and have now started their ‘final offensive’, reaching figures that have made those in charge at the Nou Camp open doors.
Ten Hag has made his former Ajax star a priority, and thus United will make an offer that includes a ‘very high fixed payment’ and then variables on top. In fact, there is a growing confidence they can get the deal done ‘in the next few days’.
The big challenge is to convince the player, who has been adamant he wants to remain in Catalunya, particularly as Manchester United cannot offer him Champions League football.
Ten Hag has been talking to De Jong and his entourage, though, making an effort to convince him to reunite with him for his project in Manchester.
Whether that has worked is unknown, but the midfielder is starting to have doubts about staying in Barcelona as they continue to make it clear they are ‘absolutely willing’ to let him leave.
Manchester United have set a deadline to formalise the operation for the middle of June, so next week is likely to be key to it either being successful or failing. They are, though, increasingly ‘optimistic’ it will be the former.