Manchester United are closing in on the signing of midfielder Frenkie de Jong after an initial transfer fee agreed with Barcelona and the Catalan club have their eyes on a direct replacement.
A fee of £56.2million for the Dutch midfield ace had been struck between the clubs – the first major hurdle of the deal which has now been cleared but Barça president Joan Laporta has insisted the Dutchman isn’t for sale and is happy at Camp Nou, despite having reached agreement. This comes after reports that the player already cleared out his locker at Barca with a move to Old Trafford appearing to be edging closer.
New United boss Erik ten Hag – who managed the midfielder at Ajax – held a late night phone call with De Jong in which he reiterated to the 25-year-old his significance to his plans at Old Trafford. The midfielder was told he would be the ‘conductor of the orchestra’ and would be an undisputed starter by Ten Hag – a similar role to the one he enjoyed so much in Amsterdam.
According to Manchester United Evening, the Dutch gaffer also pledged significant additions to the current squad, with the Red Devils looking to leapfrog heavy summer spenders Tottenham Hotspur and Man City this transfer window.
The Blaugrana are hopeful of replacing De Jong directly with a raid on United’s rivals Manchester City to land midfielder Bernardo Silva and the player is open to a move.
The Portugal international has been a key figure at the Etihad since joining from Monaco in 2017, netting 48 goals across 251 first-team appearances for Pep Guardiola’s side.
A report from Diario Sport has now outlined how the 27-year-old has told his agent Jorge Mendes to pursue a move to the Camp Nou for him this summer. Barca are aware this deal will not be easy due to the player’s valuation and likely resistance from City, but this pledge from the player is the first step – and an important one – if any deal is to be processed.
Silva featured in 50 games for City last season in which he scored 13 goals and provided seven assists, while also playing a key role for Guardiola’s side in the Champions League knockout stages. Put simply, Guardiola values him incredibly highly and the club are under no pressure to sell him.