Manchester United have agreed to pay Barcelona a guaranteed fee of £63m (€75m) for Frenkie de Jong, 90min has learned.
United are understood to have agreed to increase their guaranteed payment to Barcelona from £56m (€65m) to the new sum, with a deal inclusive of add-ons understood to be worth €85m in total.
Sources indicate to 90min that the deal has been ‘updated’ by United to help push the transfer through, though issues remain over £17m worth of deferred wages being owed to the Dutch international midfielder by Barcelona.
It’s understood that Barcelona, who are facing a number of economic challenges, have informed De Jong that he should explore a transfer despite his desire to stay with Barcelona – a club he has long harboured ambitions to play for.
The breakthrough in negotiations comes after chief executive Richard Arnold and football director John Murtough flew to Barcelona earlier in the week to hold face-to-face talks. De Jong has been United’s number one target all summer long, but the move had stalled while Barca dragged their feet over the owed money.
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Personal terms will now need to be fully agreed between United and De Jong, who has already indicated a willingness to reunite with Erik ten Hag – the Dutchman took over at Old Trafford this summer and previously worked with the 25-year-old at Ajax.
News of an agreement is a significant development for United and Ten Hag, with De Jong quickly identified earlier this summer as the club’s primary transfer target. There had been hope he would join the club on their pre-season tours of Thailand and Australia, but Barca’s tough negotiating stance has prevented those plans from coming to fruition.
Nevertheless, De Jong is now one step closer to becoming a United player, with sources telling 90min that would be ‘impossible’ for him to continue his career at Camp Nou.
Elsewhere, the Red Devils are also closing in on a move for Ajax defender Lisandro Martinez. A €55m deal has been agreed with Ajax – including €50m in guaranteed payments and €5m in potential add-ons – and the completion of a medical is all that stands between the Argentine becoming a United player.