Man Utd: £74m star now 'willing to move' to Old Trafford

Manchester United boss Erik ten Hag on the touchline

Manchester United are growing in confidence that they will succeed in tempting ‘number one target’ Frenkie de Jong to Old Trafford, according to Sky Sports reporter Dharmesh Sheth.

Erik ten Hag is keen to be reunited with de Jong after taking over as the Red Devils’ new boss at the end of last season.

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What’s the latest news involving de Jong?

According to transfer guru Fabrizio Romano, Manchester United were in direct contact with Barcelona on Tuesday as they looked to reach an agreement over de Jong.

However, Romano revealed the Catalan giants told the Red Devils they would not accept less than £74million for the 43-cap Netherlands international and they want the cash up-front, rather than instalments, due to La Liga regulations.

It is understood that ten Hag has told Manchester United’s key decision-makers that securing de Jong’s services, as he undergoes a midfield rebuild, is vital.

As a result, the Red Devils are willing to offer a contract worth £395,000-a-week, which would make him the highest-paid player at Old Trafford.

But they were unsuccessful with their opening offer as Barcelona rejected a bid worth £51.3million, plus add-ons, earlier this month.

Barca agree De Jong transfer!? Hear more on The Football Terrace

What has Dharmesh Sheth said about de Jong?

Sheth believes the likelihood of Manchester United capturing de Jong has increased despite them being unwilling to match Barcelona’s valuation.

The Sky Sports reporter told GIVEMESPORT: “It just seems to me that there’s a growing belief that there’s a willingness from all parties, potentially, to get a deal done.

“You’ve got a lot of young players at Barcelona – the new era, if you like – and de Jong may not fit into that. You’ve got a situation where Erik ten Hag knows Frenkie de Jong very, very well. He was central in his midfield when they made that run to the semi-finals of the Champions League with Ajax, when de Jong played under ten Hag.

“He knows him very, very well and is the number one target. There is a belief that there’s a willingness to do that deal, so let’s just see if their compromise can be made with regard to the price.”

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Why is de Jong on ten Hag’s shortlist of targets?

De Jong and ten Hag enjoyed huge success together at Ajax, with the new Manchester United chief selecting his fellow countryman 59 times.

They also won the double during the 2018/19 season thanks to getting their hands on the Eredivisie title and KNVB Cup.

Among midfielders in Europe’s big five divisions, de Jong finished in the 96th, 95th and 92nd percentiles for progressive carrying distance, carries into the final third and pass completion percentage respectively last season, so he would aid Manchester United when in possession.

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