A respected journalist has claimed exclusive inside information this morning on Manchester United’s pursuit of Barcelona’s Frenkie de Jong.
Several reports last week claimed that a deal was close between the two clubs and that United had made an official offer.
However, since then the trail seems to have gone cold, leading to speculation that a stalemate had been reached due to a €20-40 million gulf in the two clubs’ valuations of the player.
But Jacque Talbot, a reporter for several outlets including The Times, The Daily Star and The Guardian and who broke the Darwin Nunez to Liverpool story, says that the deal is very much on.
“Exc: Told Man United have not reached an impasse over the deal with Barcelona star Frenkie de Jong,” Talbot tweeted this morning.
“Club working on a number of moves behind the scenes and are making progress. The midfield is the main priority right now and the hope is deals can be concluded soon.
“Appreciate there’s some backlash to this but feel that gossip of a deal being close or nearly struck really hasn’t helped matters on this front.”
Exc: Told Man United have not reached an impasse over the deal with Barcelona star Frenkie de Jong. Club working on a number of moves behind the scenes and are making progress. The midfield is the main priority right now and the hope is deals can be concluded soon.
— Jacque Talbot (@jac_talbot) June 17, 2022
A breakthrough in the De Jong deal would be music to the ears of United fans, many of whom are already becoming frustrated as they have had to watch rivals such as Manchester City and Liverpool get their transfer business done early.
The 25-year-old is believed to be incoming manager Erik ten Hag’s number one target this summer as he looks to rebuild a decimated central midfield that is now down to just three experienced stars in Fred, Scott McTominay and Donny van de Beek.
Barcelona have taken steps to refinance but will almost certainly still need to sell players to be able to rebuild their side.
A deal in the region of €70 – €75 million (£60-£65m) plus bonuses for the Dutchman seems the likely outcome and should leave money left in the Old Trafford transfer kitty to address other priorities.
Free agent Christian Eriksen is also mulling over an offer from the Red Devils and has said he will decide his future when he returns from holiday in a few days’ time.