Journalist explains final ‘issue’ holding up De Jong transfer – player now ‘open’ to joining Man Utd

Date published: Thursday 21st July 2022 10:40 - Jason Soutar

Frenkie de Jong with fans after a game

Barcelona midfielder Frenkie de Jong is now “open” to a reunion with Erik ten Hag at Manchester United, according to Dharmesh Sheth.

United have reportedly agreed a fee worth €85million to sign the Netherlands playmaker, however, the Premier League club have struggled to convince the player to join.

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It is believed that De Jong would prefer to stay at the Nou Camp, though the La Liga giants are happy to let him leave as they look to raise funds and lower their salary bill.

The 25-year-old is also attracting interest from Chelsea, who are currently prioritising signing Jules Kounde from Sevilla.

The Red Devils have been handed a major boost in their pursuit of De Jong, with Sky Sports reporter Dharmesh Sheth revealing that he is “open” to leaving Barcelona for United.

Ten Hag worked with the player at Ajax and without his influence, this transfer saga would likely be dead in the water.

Sheth revealed that United face one last hurdle if they are to complete the signing, as De Jong is owed between £14-17m in deferred wage payments.

The former Ajax man does not want to leave Barca until that issue is resolved.

Sheth reportedly told Give Me Sport: “The information we’re getting is that he would be open to reuniting with Erik Ten Hag. The issue boils down to these deferred wage payments, because De Jong – along with the majority of the Barcelona squad during the pandemic – took a pay cut. That pay cut represented deferred payments and he’s owed we think between 14 and 17 million pounds. So he wants that money before he decides on what he’s going to do next.”

Leicester City midfielder Youri Tielemans has emerged as a potential alternative to De Jong.

Tielemans is seen as a “cheaper and less complicated” option and is also attracting interest from Arsenal.

Though the Gunners have not tabled an official bid, the Belgian is very keen on switching Leicester for London.

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