Man Utd’s move for De Jong edging closer after club close in on agreement with Barcelona

Manchester United look set to finally land their first signing of the summer with a number of sources in Spain and England now saying a deal to sign Frenkie de Jong from Barcelona is close.

The Red Devils have made the Barcelona midfielder their number one transfer target ever since the appointment of Erik ten Hag earlier this summer, the pair having enjoyed a hugely successful spell together at Ajax.

During the 2018/19 season, Ajax won the Eredivisie and earned plenty of plaudits following their journey to the Champions League semi-finals.

De Jong’s form that season earned him a €75 million move to the Nou Camp, where he has since been a regular part of the Catalan side’s midfield.

However, with Barcelona suffering crippling financial issues and desperately in need of cash to fund their own rebuild, De Jong represents one of the club’s most saleable assets.

Manchester United and Barca have been embroiled in drawn-out talks for the midfielder, with the La Liga side understandably looking to extract the highest fee for the 25-year-old.

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The Red Devils saw a bid of an initial bid of €60m plus a further €10m in add-ons rejected earlier this month, though talks have continued with Catalan outlet Sport reporting on Saturday that an agreement between the two clubs had moved closer, with United having improved their offer.

Barcelona were initially said to want around €85m (£73.2m) with the majority paid up front, and according to the Telegraph on Sunday, United are now close to reaching an agreement having improved their bid to €80m (£69m).

The Telegraph reports that United are ‘yet to start discussing personal terms’ with De Jong, though say they ‘are not expected to be problematic’.

De Jong has previously spoken of his desire to stay at Barcelona, though United’s continued pursuit will surely come after receiving encouragement from the midfielder about a willingness to move to the Premier League side and spearhead Ten Hag’s rebuild.

United have also made a contract offer to out-of-contract midfielder Christian Eriksen, while have also been linked with Ajax forward, Antony.

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