Tuesday 28 June 2022 11:00 BST
Manchester United are close to agreeing a deal with Barcelona for midfielder Frenkie de Jong.
Sky Sports News was told the clubs had a “broad agreement” on the fee – estimated at €65m (£56m) plus performance-related surcharges.
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 be reached.
Personal terms shouldn’t be a problem.
The Dutchman made 46 appearances for Barcelona last season and has four years left on his current deal at Camp Nou.
De Jong played under new United boss Erik ten Hag at Ajax and was part of the squad that achieved the Eredivisie and KNVB Cup double in the 2018/19 campaign, as well as the semi-finals. Champions League finals.
Reports earlier this month suggested signing the 25-year-old was Ten Hag’s priority in this summer’s transfer window, although progress on the deal has been slow.
His potential arrival at Old Trafford comes at just the right time, with Juan Mata, Nemanja Matic and Paul Pogba having already left this summer, leaving the club out of options in the middle of the park.
If Man Utd are to play the ‘dominant and dictating’ football that Erik ten Hag wants, their midfield needs an upgrade. Frenkie de Jong could be a solution, writes Sky Sports’ Peter Smith.
The sleek midfielder does his best from deep, overcoming challenges or passing through the lines to get his team up the pitch.
He rarely gives the ball away. He had a 91% success rate in La Liga last season and, in addition to that metric, also eclipsed McTominay and Fred in stats measuring dribbling success, quality of touch and how often they are stripped.
De Jong might not be the only answer to United’s problems, but he would bring an upgrade to their central midfield department and unlock a way to play Ten Hag’s desires.
What should Manchester United do this summer?
Sky Sports’ Jack Wilkinson:
” Where to start ?
“Returning Manchester United to the heights of yesteryear is too big a task to accomplish in a single season, but the fan base is well within their rights to demand progress towards that ultimate goal.
“The opportunities for newly appointed director Erik ten Hag and CEO Richard Arnold to deliver just that are endless.
“United can hardly be blamed for failing to invest on the pitch having weighed in over £1bn on transfers over the last decade, but United rank among the worst in Europe in terms of value for every pound spent.
“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 re-establishing the famous partnership that underpinned Sir’s fate. Alex Ferguson and David Gill together.
“On the pitch, fans yearn for a group of players they can relate to, a group of players they can invest in emotionally, regardless of the results.
“Players brought to the club must understand the privilege of donning a Manchester United shirt and, above all, the ability to transfer it into performance on the pitch, while those already at the club must be given an ultimatum to demonstrate their understanding.
“Achieve that, and United should be able to prevent the crippling feeling of apathy from further invading Old Trafford, and the club will have taken their first step back to the pinnacle of English and European football.”
Follow the summer transfer window with Sky Sports
Who will be on the road this summer before the transfer window closes in 11 p.m. on September 1?
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