Manchester United have been boosted in their pursuit of Frenkie de Jong as the Barcelona star is refusing to take a pay cut while a move to Old Trafford is on the cards, according to transfer guru Fabrizio Romano.
Erik ten Hag, who officially took over as the Red Devils’ new boss after last season came to an end, is keen to be reunited with the defensive midfielder after previously coaching him at Ajax.
What’s the latest news involving de Jong?
Manchester United’s intention to lure de Jong away from Barcelona took another twist after the Catalan club’s president, Joan Laporta, revealed he has no intention of sanctioning the Dutchman’s departure.
Having also claimed Manchester United are not the only side looking to strike a deal, Laporta suggested de Jong will have to take a pay cut in order to remain at the Nou Camp.
The 25-year-old’s current Barcelona contract, which still has four years to run, is worth £164,000-per-week.
Manchester United tested the La Liga giants’ resolve soon after the transfer window reopened for business, but a bid worth £51.3million – plus add-ons – was rejected.
However, it is understood that the Red Devils have lodged a fresh £68million offer and ten Hag has convinced de Jong that heading to Old Trafford would be a good move.
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What has Fabrizio Romano said about de Jong?
Romano is aware that Laporta is keen to keep de Jong at Barcelona despite Manchester United being willing to part with a significant sum.
However, the transfer guru believes the Red Devils could still win the battle for the 44-cap Netherlands international’s signature as he is unwilling to renegotiate the terms within his contract at the Nou Camp.
Speaking on Sunday evening, Romano told GIVEMESPORT: “For Frenkie de Jong, I think the situation is a peculiar one. The president of Barcelona, Laporta, has said that he will try to keep the player, but he wants Frenkie to reduce his salary.
“From what I’m told, Frenkie is not reducing his salary. At the moment, this is not the case.”
Would de Jong be a good signing for Man United?
Ten Hag has already seen Paul Pogba, Jesse Lingard, Nemanja Matic and Juan Mata leave Manchester United since his appointment, so he could clearly do with adding a new central midfielder or two to his squad.
De Jong is someone he knows well and can trust, having selected him on 59 occasions during their time together at Ajax, so would be an astute addition.
Statistics show the Dutchman, who has made 229 senior club appearances over the course of his career, would improve the Red Devils as well.
He finished in the 96th and 92nd percentiles for progressive carrying distance and pass completion rate among midfielders in Europe’s big five leagues last season.