Manchester United are close to agreeing a deal for midfielder Frenkie de Jong with Barcelona.
Sky sports news were told the clubs have a “broad agreement” on the fee – believed to be €65million (£56million) plus performance-based supplements.
Discussions continue on the finer details of the deal and there is still work to be done, but there appears to be increased confidence that a deal can go through.
Personal terms should not pose a problem.
The Dutchman made 46 appearances for Barcelona last season and still has four years left on his current contract at the Nou Camp.
De Jong played under new United manager Erik ten Hag at Ajax and was part of the squad that completed the Eredivisie/KNVB Cup double and reached the semi-finals of the Champions League in 2018/19.
Reports earlier this month suggested that signing the 25-year-old Ten Hags was a priority in this summer’s transfer window, although progress on the deal has been slow.
His potential arrival at Old Trafford is timely given that Juan Mata, Nemanja Matic and Paul Pogba have all left this summer, leaving the club with few options in the middle of the park.
How De Jong Ten Hag can help bring Ajax to Man Utd
If Man Utd are to play the ‘dominant, dictating’ football that Erik ten Hag wants, their midfield will need to be upgraded. Frenkie de Jong could be a solution, writes Sky Sports’ Peter Smith.
The stylish midfielder does his best from deep, stepping past challenges or threading a pass through the lines to get his team onto the field.
He rarely gives the ball away. He had a 91 percent passing rate in La Liga last season and, in addition to that metric, he also surpassed McTominay and Fred in stats measuring dribbling success, touch quality and the frequency of their dispossession.
De Jong might not be the only answer to United’s woes, but he would bring an upgrade to the central midfield department and open up an opportunity to fulfill Ten Hag’s desires.
What should Manchester United do this summer?
Jack Wilkinson from Sky Sports:
“Where do you start?
“Returning Manchester United to the lofty heights of yesteryear is too big a task to accomplish in a single season, but the fanbase has a right to demand progress towards that ultimate goal.
“There are many opportunities for newly appointed manager Erik ten Hag and CEO Richard Arnold to achieve just that.
“United can hardly be faulted for failing to invest on the pitch, having weighed in at more than £1billion on transfers over the past decade, but United are among the worst in terms of value for every pound spent in Europe.
“In their first season together, Ten Hag and Arnold must seize the opportunity to devise a new transfer strategy, execute it successfully and take the first steps towards restoring the celebrated partnership that underpinned Sir Alex Ferguson and David Gill’s shared magic.
“On the pitch, fans crave a group of players they can relate to, a group of players they can invest in emotionally, regardless of the results.
“Players who are brought into the club must understand the privilege of donning a Manchester United shirt and, more importantly, the ability to translate that into performances on the pitch, while those already at the club are given an ultimatum needs to demonstrate their understanding.
“If they can achieve that, United should be able to prevent that crippling sense of apathy from further engulfing Old Trafford and the club will have taken their first step back towards the top flight of English and European football.”
Follow the summer transfer window with Sky Sports
Who will move before the transfer window closes this summer? 11pm on September 1st?
Stay up to date with the latest transfer news and rumors on our dedicated Transfer Center blog Sky Sports’ digital platforms. You can also find out about the ins, outs and analysis Sky sports news.