Frenkie de Jong’s agent has told Manchester United’s hierarchy to stop trying to convince the midfielder to move to Old Trafford even though they have agreed a fee with Barcelona, according to reports.
United CEO Richard Arnold as well as football director John Murtough have been in Catalunya this week to meet with their Barca counterparts, finally agreeing a fee after weeks of negotiations.
A deal worth around €85million (£72m) has been accepted by the Spanish side, with around £63m set to be paid up front and a further £10m heading to Barca in various add-ons.
However, the deal has remained in jeopardy due to De Jong’s reluctance to join United, with Barcelona’s hierarchy even meeting with the Dutchman on Thursday to ask him to accept the offer.
But their pleas appear to have fallen on deaf ears, with Spanish newspaper Sport reporting that De Jong’s agent, Ali Dursun, has told Arnold and Murtough to give up on trying to convince the Netherlands international to join.
The trio met in Barcelona with United hoping to persuade De Jong to finally accept their offer now that a fee has been agreed.
But they met only further resistance, with Dursun making it clear that his client does not want to join the Red Devils.
De Jong – and particularly his girlfriend – do not want to swap Barcelona for Manchester, with the 25-year-old unwilling to uproot his family or drop down into the Europa League.
Despite the presence of his old Ajax boss Erik ten Hag at Old Trafford, the midfielder also has significant doubts about the project on offer at United and how close they are to competing for silverware once again.
Dursun has therefore told United to stop ‘wasting their time’ because De Jong’s position is clear: he does not want to join the Red Devils.
He has also asked his agent to no longer inform him about Barcelona’s efforts to sell him, taking an ignorance is bliss approach, and has no intention of caving to their demands to join United.
That is not to say he will not leave Barcelona, however, with the Dutchman open to leaving Camp Nou given how he has been treated – but he wants to do it on his terms, and wants to join a club of his choosing that is playing in the Champions League.
Everything now suggests that United will fail to prise De Jong away from Barca and will have to begrudgingly give up their pursuit, while the Catalan club have been left with an enormous financial issue as they look to comply with FFP.
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