Man Utd summer budget revealed as officials ‘travel’ to Barcelona to ‘negotiate’ £170m double deal

Joe Williams
Man Utd targets Frenkie de Jong and Ronald Araujo
Frenkie de Jong and Ronald Araujo have been linked with a move to Old Trafford.

Man Utd officials are set to travel to Barcelona in an effort to progress talks to sign Frenkie de Jong and Ronald Araujo this summer, according to reports.

Sir Jim Ratcliffe’s deal to buy 25 per cent of the club has been approved by the Premier League with the British billionaire now just waiting for the Football Assocation to sign off the takeover.

Once completed, Ratcliffe will take charge of footballing matters from the Glazer family with the INEOS founder looking to appoint a new director of football, overhaul the recruitment department and improve the club’s infrastructure.

Man Utd did not spend any money in the January transfer window as they instead looked to move players out on loan to ease the club’s wage budget.

But it is expected that Ratcliffe and his INEOS team will look to bring in a number of key players to help Erik ten Hag in the summer transfer window after the Dutchman’s side have hit a good run of form.

One player Ten Hag has been desperate to bring in during his tenure at Old Trafford is compatriot De Jong from Barcelona with Spanish publication Nacional insisting Man Utd are attempting to bring the Netherlands international and his team-mate Araujo to Manchester.

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The report claims Ratcliffe will allow Man Utd to spend around €300m (£256m) to invest in new signings with Barcelona duo De Jong and Araujo their ‘first two objectives’.

Man Utd ‘want to take advantage’ of the Catalan giants’ poor financial situation to prise away their two biggest stars and some ’emissaries’ from Old Trafford ‘plan to travel to Barcelona this month to meet personally with Joan Laporta and Deco, and begin talks with the aim of signing these two stars’.

The Red Devils see De Jong as the ‘priority’ target out of the two and the Netherlands international ‘will be offered an incredible salary’ with the Premier League outfit to take ‘advantage of the fact that the talks to renew with Barça are paralysed’.

Araujo’s contract will also expire in 2026 in an ‘identical case’ to De Jong’s with the Uruguayan demanding ‘a much higher salary’ to commit his future to Barcelona.

Ratcliffe and Man Utd are hoping ‘to be able to convince’ De Jong and Araujo ‘to become the leaders of the new project’ with the Red Devils willing to pay up to €200m (£170m) for the Barca duo.

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