Manchester United is close to finalizing a £70 million deal with Barcelona for Frenkie de Jong, but the midfielder will have to consent to leave the Nou Camp.
Erik ten Hag previously worked with De Jong at Ajax and is eager to rejoin with the 25-year-old at Old Trafford.
Ten Hag, who has signed a three-year contract with United, wants to bolster his squad with a new striker, midfielder, and center-back this summer, after the departures of Paul Pogba, Edinson Cavani, and Jesse Lingard.
Manchester United has been in talks with Barcelona for some weeks, and according to Spanish outlet Sport, a deal is nearing completion.
According to reports, United are close to finalizing a £70 million transfer fee for De Jong, with Barcelona seizing the opportunity to cash in on the Dutch star in order to alleviate their desperate financial situation.
However, it remains to be seen whether De Jong actually signs for Manchester United, as he is said to require some convincing.
While De Jong is interested in playing in the Premier League and enjoyed his time under Ten Hag, the lack of Champions League games at Old Trafford is a hindrance.
Manchester United finished sixth last season under temporary manager Ralf Rangnick and former manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, guaranteeing they will compete in the Europa League next season.
To compensate, United is prepared to make De Jong one of their highest-paid players, though the Dutchman may yet choose to stay at Barcelona.
Manchester United wants De Jong to make a decision by the middle of June and may increase their interest in Lazio star Sergej Milinkovic-Savic if their top target declines.
De Jong has played 140 times for Barcelona since joining the club from Ajax in 2019. He was one of Barcelona’s most significant players last season, appearing in 47 games.
Former Liverpool and England star Steve McManaman encouraged De Jong last month to reject a move to Manchester United this summer.
‘Playing for Barcelona on the rise vs Manchester United on the rise is a completely different thing when one is in the Champions League and the other isn’t,’ he explained.
‘If he goes to Manchester United, I believe they will have to pay him more than he is making at Barcelona, which I believe will be a difficult task given that he went to Barcelona for a large sum of money.
‘You’d rather stay at Barcelona in the Champions League, where Xavi is attempting to improve things.’ In my perspective, the possibility of [Andreas] Christensen and [Robert] Lewandowski joining the team makes it a more intriguing challenge.’