Manchester United are close to reaching an agreement with Barcelona for midfielder Frenkie de Jong.
Sky sports news he has been told the clubs have a “broad agreement” on the fee, believed to be €65m (£56m) plus performance-related add-ons.
Discussions continue over the finer details of the deal and there is still work to be done, but there appears to be increased confidence that an agreement can be reached.
Personal terms are not expected to be a problem.
The Dutchman made 46 appearances for Barcelona last season and has four years remaining on his current contract at the Camp Nou.
De Jong played under new United manager Erik ten Hag at Ajax and was part of the team that completed the Eredivisie and KNVB Cup double during the 2018/19 campaign, as well as reaching the Champions League semi-finals. Champions.
Reports earlier this month suggested signing the 25-year-old was Ten Hag’s priority in this summer’s transfer window, although progress on the deal was slow.
His possible arrival at Old Trafford is timely, as Juan Mata, Nemanja Matic and Paul Pogba have already left this summer, leaving the club with no options in the middle of the park.
How De Jong can help Ten Hag bring Ajax closer to Man Utd
If Man Utd are going to play the “dominant and dictatorial” football that Erik ten Hag wants, their midfield needs an upgrade. Frenkie de Jong could be a solution, writes Sky Sports’ Peter Smith.
The graceful midfielder does his best work from deep, overcoming challenges or slipping a pass through the lanes to move his team up the field.
He rarely gives the ball away. He had a 91 per cent passing rate in La Liga last season and on top of that metric he also outshone McTominay and Fred in stats measuring dribbling success, quality of touch and how often they are dispossessed.
De Jong may not be the only answer to United’s problems, but he would bring an upgrade to their central midfield department and unlock a way to play Ten Hag’s wishes.
What should Manchester United do this summer?
Jack Wilkinson of Sky Sports:
“Where do you start?
“Restoring Manchester United to the lofty heights of yesteryear is too great a task to be completed in a single season, but the fan base has every right to demand progress towards that ultimate goal.
“The opportunities for newly appointed manager Erik ten Hag and chief executive officer Richard Arnold to achieve that are endless.
“You can’t blame United for underinvesting on the pitch having spent over £1bn on transfers over the last decade, but United are among the worst in Europe in terms of value per pound spent. .
“In their first season together, Ten Hag and Arnold must seize the opportunity to devise a new transfer strategy, execute it successfully and take the first steps towards re-establishing the famous partnership that underpinned the spell of Sir Alex Ferguson and David Gill.
“On the pitch, the fan base craves a group of players they can relate to, a group of players they can emotionally invest in, regardless of the results.
“The players brought into the club must understand the privilege of putting on a Manchester United shirt and, more importantly, have the ability to transfer that to on-field performances, while those already at the club are You must give an ultimatum to demonstrate your understanding.
“By achieving this, United should be able to prevent a crippling sense of apathy from taking hold further at Old Trafford, and the club will have taken its first step towards the top of English and European football.”
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