Manchester United remain comfortable in their position regarding a possible deal for Barcelona midfielder Frenkie de Jong, while the signing of Chrisitan Eriksen is ‘progressing positively’.
United have a “broad agreement” with Barcelona over the fee, believed to be €65m (£56m) plus performance-related add-ons.
Chief executive Richard Arnold and director of football John Murtough are continuing talks with Barca officials about the transfer, but the deal is problematic because De Jong has retroactive salary issues. He is believed to be owed £17m after taking a pay cut during the pandemic.
Meanwhile, the deal to bring Christian Eriksen he is said to be “progressing positively” and United are continuing talks with Ajax over the defender Lisandro Martinez and they are still interested in forward anthony.
United continue to insist that Cristiano Ronaldo is not for sale.
What’s new about De Jong?
Barcelona president Joan Laporta has said De Jong is not for sale but admitted his salary would need adjusting.
Laporte said: “[Frenkie De Jong] He is a Barça player. And unless we feel the need or the interest to sell it, we won’t. Frenkie de Jong is not for sale. We know he has offers. And if at any given moment we are interested in selling it, then we would think about it.
“But right now we won’t sell it.”
De Jong made 46 appearances for Barcelona last season and has four years remaining on his current contract at the Camp Nou.
The Dutch midfielder played under new United manager Erik ten Hag at Ajax and was part of the team that completed the Eredivisie and KNVB Cup double during the 2018/19 campaign, as well as reaching the semi-finals of the Champions League.
While Man Utd believe De Jong is open to a move to Old Trafford, they are also looking at other options.
Midfield is the number one priority position that United are looking to strengthen this summer.
How De Jong can help Ten Hag bring Ajax closer to Man Utd
If Man Utd are going to play the “dominant and dictatorial” football that Erik ten Hag wants, their midfield needs an upgrade. Frenkie de Jong could be a solution, writes Sky Sports’ Peter Smith.
The graceful midfielder does his best work from deep, overcoming challenges or slipping a pass through the lines to move his team up the field.
He rarely gives the ball away. He had a 91 per cent passing rate in La Liga last season and on top of that metric he also outshone McTominay and Fred in stats measuring dribbling success, quality of touch and how often they are dispossessed.
De Jong may not be the only answer to United’s problems, but he would bring an upgrade to their central midfield department and unlock a way to play Ten Hag’s wishes.
Eriksen deal ‘progressing positively’
In the meantime, Sky sports news he has been told that the deal to bring Christian Eriksen to Manchester United is “progressing positively”.
A three-year contract has been agreed and will be formally signed once Eriksen completes his medical at Old Trafford.
The Denmark international was considering offers from United and Brentford but decided to join Erik ten Hag at Old Trafford.
Eriksen worked with Ten Hag when he trained with Ajax as part of his return to football following his cardiac arrest while playing for Denmark at Euro 2020.
United were patient in their search for Eriksen and did not press the midfielder for a decision as they understood his choice would be based on more than just football.
Eriksen settled in London with his family in Brentford, but was drawn by the prospect of working with Ten Hag and being part of United’s new era with the Dutchman.
Conversations with Martínez continue | Antonio’s interest remains
Meanwhile, Manchester United are continuing talks with Ajax about defender Lisandro Martinez.
The gap in valuation between the two clubs still exists but the player, who has also been linked with a move to Arsenal, is believed to want a move to Old Trafford.
However, United will not overpay for the Argentine international.
Man Utd also remain interested in another Ajax player, striker Antony.
Erik ten Hag confirmed on Monday that the addition of another striker is a priority for United, but again, no deal is close as there is a player-valuation gap between the two clubs.
United’s Ronaldo’s stance doesn’t change
Finally, Manchester United’s position regarding the future of Cristiano Ronaldo remains unchanged.
United are willing to listen to offers for Ronaldo this summer, Sky sports news he understands, but the club’s public stance remains that he is not for sale.
Ten Hag says Ronaldo, who has one year left on his United contract, is in his plans for next season and hopes he will stay at the club.
The United manager said: “We are planning with Ronaldo for this season, that’s all. I am looking forward to working with him.”
When asked if Ronaldo wants to leave, Ten Hag replied: “He has not told me this. I have read it, but as I say, Cristiano is not for sale, he is in our plans and we want to achieve success together.”
“I talked to him before this issue came up. I had a conversation with him and I had a really good conversation.”
However, it is understood that Ronaldo’s camp will continue to seek offers despite Ten Hag’s insistence that the Portuguese international will miss out on Old Trafford.
What should Manchester United do this summer?
Jack Wilkinson of Sky Sports:
“Where do you start?
“Restoring Manchester United to the lofty heights of yesteryear is too great a task to be completed in a single season, but the fan base has every right to demand progress towards that ultimate goal.
“The opportunities for newly appointed manager Erik ten Hag and chief executive officer Richard Arnold to achieve that are endless.
“You can’t blame United for underinvesting on the pitch having spent over £1bn on transfers over the last decade, but United are among the worst in Europe in terms of value for every pound spent. .
“In their first season together, Ten Hag and Arnold must seize the opportunity to devise a new transfer strategy, execute it successfully and take the first steps towards re-establishing the famous partnership that underpinned the spell of Sir Alex Ferguson and David Gill.
“On the pitch, the fan base craves a group of players they can relate to, a group of players they can emotionally invest in, regardless of the results.
“The players brought into the club must understand the privilege of putting on a Manchester United shirt and, more importantly, have the ability to transfer that to on-field performances, while those already at the club are You must give an ultimatum to demonstrate your understanding.
“By achieving this, United should be able to prevent a crippling sense of apathy from taking hold further at Old Trafford, and the club will have taken its first step towards the top of English and European football.”
Follow the summer transfer window with Sky Sports
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Man Utd matches: Ten Hag debut against Brighton on Sky
Erik ten Hag’s first Premier League game as Manchester United manager will be against Brighton at Old Trafford, live. sky sportson the opening Super Sunday of the 2022/23 season.
After taking on Graham Potter’s Seagulls on Sunday, August 7, live on sky Sports, United travel to Brentford in the second round of matches before hosting rivals Liverpool in a blockbuster early-season clash on 22 August, live on Sky Sports.
United’s trip to the Etihad Stadium for the first Manchester derby of the season on October 1 kicks off an overwhelming month in which Ten Hag’s side travel to Everton and Chelsea and host Tottenham, Newcastle and West Ham.
The last match before the season break for the winter World Cup will be against Fulham on the weekend of 12-13 November. United then return to action on Boxing Day at home to Nottingham Forest.
2023 will be opened by a home game against promoted Bournemouth. Premier League champions Manchester City are next at Old Trafford on January 14, the return trip to Anfield on March 4, while United conclude their season at home to Fulham on May 28.