Manchester United are set to make a final push for Frenkie de Jong this week, according to Spanish outlet, Sport.
The Dutchman has been the subject of a transfer saga that has dragged on all summer between Barcelona and Manchester United.
The two clubs have already reached an agreement on a fee of €75 million plus €10 million in bonuses, but the player has so far refused to leave.
The English press are mostly claiming this is about the €17 million in deferred wages he is owed by the Blaugrana (some say €20 million), but the Spanish media have been insistent that the player genuinely doesn’t want to leave the club for United under any circumstances.
So whilst some would make us believe that United are patiently waiting for Barça to pay up what they owe, Sport claims that United are set to throw a massive wage offer at the player to finally persuade him to give up his life of luxury on the Costa Brava and head for rainy Manchester.
“English emissaries could be seen with De Jong’s agents now that the player has already returned from the American tour,” the outlet claims.
“The problem is not with Barça … the job here is to convince the player. And United believe they can do it with a definitive offer.
“The English club are keen to make the Dutch midfielder the club’s highest-paid player by matching his current salary of £450,000 a week.
“They are also willing to pay the 17 million pounds sterling (20 million euros) that Barcelona owes De Jong in deferred wages. A few weeks ago they flatly refused to assume these debts.”
The report seems to be a bit of wishful thinking on Sport’s part in two respects.
First, the current salary being cited here, and elsewhere, is far higher than is reported elsewhere. This £450,000 per week figure seems to have come from the site capology.com.
This seems massive even by Barcelona’s standards (their former number 10 excluded).
Other sources, for example, Marca, claim that De Jong earns a more modest £291,000 per week. This seems more accurate as it would equate to around €17.5m per year, which would be reduced to the €10m stated as Barça’s new salary cap if De Jong took the 40% pay cut that the club is trying to impose on him.
In other words, that £291k per week figure “adds up” and is more credible. It is also one that United would have no trouble in meeting, or even exceeding.
The second dubious claim in the report is that United are now willing to pay the €17 – €20 million owed by Barça in back pay. This would basically raise the transfer fee to around €100 million. And they would be doing so while Barça raise hundreds of millions by selling their TV rights to go out on a shopping spree to buy the likes of Robert Lewandowski and Jules Koundé.
There could well be a final push this week, but it surely needs to come from Barcelona’s side. They will not be able to register their new players until they sell De Jong, and to do so, they need to pay the full amount they owe him, or close to it, before he is prepared to go.
Meanwhile, the 25 year old is carrying on as normal, tweeting pictures of himself playing in the Blaugrana’s recent 2-0 win over New York.
A win in New York 🇺🇸 pic.twitter.com/XBXgUpy02i
— Frenkie de Jong (@DeJongFrenkie21) July 31, 2022