We’re at it again. After a lengthy saga, Manchester United signed Jadon Sancho for less than what Borussia Dortmund wanted last summer. And it appears that lightning has struck again, with reports that they have negotiated a reduced deal with Barcelona for midfielder Frenkie de Jong.
It was no secret that United wanted to sign Sancho last summer.
The England international came close to joining United in 2017, when Jose Mourinho was manager, but instead joined Bundesliga heavyweights Borussia Dortmund.
United was interested in signing Sancho in 2019, but after failing to qualify for the Champions League, they chose to sign Daniel James instead.
And, in 2020, they pushed and puffed all summer just to lose out once more.
Dortmund stated that they would explore selling the winger for a fee close to £108 million that year.
However, United concluded that the price was far too exorbitant and instead signed Edinson Cavani on a free transfer.
However, the Red Devils eventually won gold last year.
After weeks of negotiating, they were able to agree on a £73 million deal for Sancho, who was eager to return to the Premier League after previously playing for Manchester City.
And it appears like United will repeat the feat.
While their chase of De Jong hasn’t gone as long as Sancho’s, it has been lengthy. Especially for the journalists who have to write about it every day.
It became clear in April that United would try to sign the midfielder, who only went from Ajax to Barcelona three years ago.
And the saga has continued ever since.
United was initially told that they would have to spend around £89 million to sign De Jong – the same amount they paid for Paul Pogba six years ago.
Fans have been impatient since then. United, in their opinion, has squandered time by focusing on the 25-year-old for so long.
Manchester City moved quickly to get Erling Haaland from Dortmund, beating off La Liga and Champions League winners Real Madrid.
And Liverpool was similarly quick, winning the race for Darwin Nunez, who had previously been considered by United.
Throughout the entire ordeal, John Murtough and his negotiation team have been tough. They are adamant that they would not overpay and that they do not want to be the solution to Barcelona’s financial problems.
And now it appears that patience is paying off.
According to Catalan media, De Jong has informed Barcelona that he intends to stay for the next four years.
But the story is different on these beaches. Instead, De Jong will soon undergo a physical at United after a cost of £56 million was agreed upon.
That number will climb with add-ons, but it’s a win for Murtough and the Red Devils’ recruitment department. One that has the potential to be significant in the coming years.
United has successfully negotiated a lesser price for their top target for the second time in as many years.
That, according to Erik ten Hag, bodes well for the future.
United are not believed to stop with De Jong, with Feyenoord’s Tyrell Malacia also on their radar.
The Netherlands international is poised to join, having previously been linked with a move to Lyon in France.
United are also interested in signing Lisandro Martinez from Ajax, as Eric Bailly, Phil Jones, and Axel Tuanzebe are all expected to leave.
When it comes to their assault, Ten Hag is eager to rejoin Antony, having coaxed the best out of the Brazil international during their time together in Amsterdam.
United still has several obstacles to overcome with De Jong. However, there is a chance the agreement will be revealed in the next few days, in time for the player to participate in the pre-season.
At the moment, all indications point to him being the next Sancho and landing from a European opponent for significantly less than originally planned.