Man United’s summer windows tend to revolve around a chase for one player that only really forces their transfer fee upwards, and this year it’s Barcelona’s Frenkie de Jong who’s attracting interest.
We’re seeing daily updates which suggest a deal is either quite close or not close at all, and the latest from Fabrizio Romano indicates that there’s plenty that will need to change before this happens:
Manchester United and Barcelona have been in direct contact today for Frenkie de Jong. Still no agreement on the fee, as Barça told Man Utd they won’t sell FdJ for less than €86m. ??? #MUFC
Barcelona want full fee guaranteed, also because of La Liga rules to reinvest money. pic.twitter.com/n6WBFk5Uxy
— Fabrizio Romano (@FabrizioRomano) June 21, 2022
The overall transfer fee of €86m is always going to be a sticking point because it’s a major outlay, especially when United have done a poor job of bringing in fees when their players actually move on.
The other obstacle is the fact that Barca want the whole fee to be guaranteed rather than having the possibility of add-ons and bonuses. If that’s a dealbreaker, then it means United will need to be completely certain that the Dutchman is the player that they want to blow the majority of their budget on.
Targetting de Jong does make a lot of sense when you consider their play from last season. United have plenty of talent at the top-end of the pitch, but they struggled to find anyone who could move around the pitch while linking the attack and defence, so it led to a completely disjointed approach that became easy to play against.
At this stage, it does look like Barca are willing to let him go, but United will need to pay a lot of money to make it happen.