MANCHESTER UNITED will need to drive down Barcelona’s £65million asking price if they are to sign Frenkie de Jong this summer.
The former Ajax midfielder is high on the wanted list of new Old Trafford boss Erik ten Hag.
But the Dutchman will have a limited budget to work with when he officially starts work next week due to their failure to reach the Champions League.
And there are various areas he wants to try to strengthen this summer – so he does not want to blow the lot on one big signing.
Cash-strapped Barca are keen to recoup the fee of around £65.3 million they paid for De Jong when he joined them in January 2019.
And so far, the two parties have yet to find any middle ground – so a deal is some way off.
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De Jong, 25, would ideally like to stay at the Nou Camp or move to a club who will play in the Champions League next season.
Ten Hag, however, hopes their relationship from days working together at Ajax could help persuade him to move to Manchester.
The new boss wants at least one central midfielder or possibly two – with Paul Pogba and Nemanja Matic to leave United this summer.
But he is also looking to add a centre forward to replace the out-going Edinson Cavani while, ideally, he would like a centre half too.
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Barcelona are aware of United’s interest in signing De Jong but are unsure of cashing in on his services.
President Joan Laporta recently told Catalunya Radio: “There are Barca players that are always being talked about in the market.
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“I don’t know if we will sell important players. If we complete some deals, maybe it won’t be needed.
“The priority is our financial situation, as of now. We’ll do our best for the club.”
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