Manchester United’s pursuit of Barcelona star Frenkie de Jong remains ongoing.
The Red Devils want to land the Netherlands international this summer, with Erik ten Hag hellbent on securing a reunion. And a fee is the only thing they’re yet to agree on.
The first agreement United have with De Jong is an internal one.
Ten Hag, Murtough and Richard Arnold all feel the Netherlands international can be a key player at Old Trafford, despite struggling to live up to expectations during his time at Barcelona so far.
Historically, there’s often been division at United over who to sign.
But they’re unanimous when it comes to landing De Jong this summer, just three years after the midfielder swapped Amsterdam for Barcelona.
Ten Hag knows the player well, having coaxed the best from him during their spell at Ajax together.
And United are more than happy to pursue his singing. De Jong is 25, has the potential to get even better and also carries a big re-sale value should they ever end up cutting him loose.
In many ways, that makes him the ideal target.
Then, the second agreement United have is between the player and Ten Hag themselves.
De Jong was, at first, reluctant to leave Barcelona behind. He likes the city, his team-mates and, though he’s sometimes been benched, Xavi too.
United finished sixth in the Premier League table last term, failing to get any momentum going under both Ole Gunnar Solskjaer and Ralf Rangnick.
And that means they’ll be without Champions League football next season, with the Europa League lying in wait instead.
But De Jong has reportedly been convinced into moving to United, having agreed to become part of Ten Hag’s project providing the Red Devils can agree a fee with Barcelona.
Personal terms aren’t expected to be an issue, with United ready to make him one of the best-paid players at the club.
And that’s another thing that bodes well with the Red Devils hopeful Ten Hag’s close relationship with De Jong can swing the transfer pendulum in their favour.
Now, the third agreement United require is a fee with Barcelona themselves.
Initially, the Catalan giants demanded that the Red Devils fork out a massive £89million – matching the same amount they paid for Paul Pogba back in the summer transfer window of 2016.
But United, knowing their La Liga giants need to balance their finances, are unwilling to go that high.
They’re primed to up their current offer to closer to £60m, a fee that would make him one of their most-expensive signings of all time.
Barcelona want to sign Robert Lewandowski from Bayern Munich, as well as Jules Kounde from Sevilla.
And it’s possible the La Liga giants will finally decide to accept United’s approach, providing the terms are right.
At the moment, there’s no indication that Barcelona will let De Jong go on the cheap – especially after recently receiving a £555million cash boost.
But United remain hopeful that their patience will be rewarded and De Jong, soon enough, will be theirs.
Arnold, meanwhile, told a group of United fans at a local pub that De Jong was a ‘great player’ and that the money was ‘there’ for new recruits.
“As a club we’re doing everything possible to get the deal done,” he said, in a video that was then published on social media.
“I’ve been up for days trying to get it done. The money is there but there’s things standing in our way which I can’t say.”
And he also said: “It’s that the manager wants him, that they’ve actually done the work on looking if he’s a great player.”