Man Utd ‘reach’ £77m for ‘mystery’ player as they ‘break down any Barcelona resistance’ to transfer

Joe Williams
Man Utd transfer target Frenkie de Jong
Frenkie de Jong has been linked with a move to Man Utd.

Man Utd have agreed to pay €90m (£77m) for Barcelona midfielder Frenkie de Jong in the summer transfer window, according to reports.

There are set to be some major changes at Old Trafford over the next few months after Sir Jim Ratcliffe completed a deal to buy 27.7 per cent of the Premier League club earlier this month.

As part of the agreement, Ratcliffe and INEOS will take over the football operation at Man Utd with the British billionaire already making some significant changes.

Omar Berrada will arrive in the summer as the club’s new CEO from arch-rivals Man City, while Southampton’s Jason Wilcox has joined as the new technical director at Old Trafford.

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Ratcliffe and INEOS are still working on a deal to bring Dan Ashworth in from Newcastle as the Red Devils’ new sporting director, while there are rumours Erik ten Hag could now be replaced in the summer.

The performances at Man Utd have been poor for the majority of the season with the Red Devils crashing out of Europe before Christmas, while they are currently seventh in the Premier League.

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Ten Hag’s side did reach the FA Cup final on Sunday but even that was an embarrassment with Coventry City almost coming from three goals down to win before Man Utd scraped through on penalties.

There could also be a big turnover of playing personnel with Ratcliffe looking to get recruitment right in the summer after over a decade of failed transfers.

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Man Utd to finally land Frenkie de Jong?

And now Spanish publication Nacional claim that Man Utd have ‘reached’ €90m (£77m) for long-term target De Jong with the Netherlands international’s future at Barcelona ‘becoming a mystery’.

De Jong has suffered from injuries this season with the Dutchman set to miss the rest of the campaign after picking up an ankle injury in the El Clasico over the weekend.

And now Barcelona president Joan Laporta and sporting director Deco ‘have included him on the list of possible sacrifices’ with his departure ‘not ruled out at all’ as they are comfortable with the options they have in midfield.

Added to that, Man Utd ‘presents an offer that is sufficiently interesting’ with their €90m offer designed to ‘break down any resistance that Barca may put up’.

It is added that Ten Hag’s potential exit from Old Trafford will not impact the Red Devils’ desire to make one of the best midfielders in the world their own.

After watching Man Utd throw away a three-goal lead against Coventry over the weekend, former Premier League midfielder Robbie Savage insists the club’s lack of leaders is now a “huge worry”.

Speaking exclusively to Planet Sport Bet, Savage said: “I watched the Manchester United vs Coventry semi-final on the television and turned it off at half time because United were 2-0 up and I assumed the game was over at that point. Someone told me when Coventry had got it back to 3-2 so I put it back on and saw the equaliser. That period of extra time, wow. Can you imagine being a Coventry player in that? The decision to disallow their winner was correct, but it was a millimetre offside! After all the emotion you just knew that United would go on and win it from there.

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Robbie Savage: There were no leaders on or off the pitch for Man Utd

“The performance from Mark Robins’ team against Erik ten Hag’s United side might have really started to make people question whether he is the right man to be United’s manager next season. On the flip side that is three domestic cup finals in two years for Ten Hag, that’s not a bad achievement!

“However, the damage from being 3-0 up against a Championship side and letting that lead slip has been done. The game management was poor and people will say that is the manager’s fault, but they were all to blame. When Coventry got a goal back Manchester United had to change something as a collective and I didn’t see anything like that. There were no leaders on or off the pitch and that is a huge worry for me now.

“The objective for everybody at Manchester United before the game will have been to reach the final. People are using words like ‘embarrassing’ to describe the performance, but at the end of the day they’ve still got to an FA Cup final. Although, they were a millimetre away from going out in what would’ve been one of the most unbelievable results in an FA Cup semi-final ever.”

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