Frenkie de Jong to Man Utd: Final offer to star, Joan Laporta green light, reserved number

De Jong quizzed on Man Utd transfer links

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Frenkie de Jong is Manchester United’s main target for this summer. Erik ten Hag wants a reunion with his former Ajax pupil, while John Murtough and Richard Arnold have been involved in negotiations with Barcelona. With the saga dragging on and on, Express Sport will now take a look at the latest updates.

Final offer to star

On Saturday, it emerged United were readying their final offer to De Jong himself.

The player has doubts about leaving the Nou Camp for Old Trafford, particularly given the Red Devils’ plight since Sir Alex Ferguson’s retirement in 2013.

But United are hoping an offer of a huge salary changes his mind.

The Red Devils are ready to pay the midfielder £360,000-a-week, which is his current pay packet over in Catalonia.

And United want him to be their best-paid star, which could cause an issue when it comes to Cristiano Ronaldo.

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Joan Laporta green light

Barcelona chief Joan Laporta has approved a move for Bernardo Silva.

Cope journalist Helena Condis said on Friday: “@JoanLaportaFCB has called Jorge Mendes, representative of @BernardoCSilva, and has told him that they will advance in this operation.

“The key to this operation would be the output of @DeJongFrenkie21.”

Barcelona obviously need to get De Jong off their wage bill in order to fund a move for Bernardo.

So that gives them an even greater incentive to sell the 25-year-old, despite what Laporta and other figures at the club are saying in public.

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Reserved number

Earlier this week, United gave Christian Eriksen and Lisandro Martinez their shirt numbers.

Eriksen will wear the No 14 previously worn by Jesse Lingard, who has left Old Trafford in order to join Nottingham Forest.

And Martinez will inherit the No 6 jersey which was sported by Paul Pogba during his six years at the club.

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One number United are yet to allocate, however, is the No 21.

That’s De Jong’s favourite number and the Red Devils are keen for him to don it next term, with Erik ten Hag flatly refusing to give up on the player.

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Loan exit approved

Reports in Spain claimed earlier in the week that Barcelona are open to loaning De Jong out this summer.

United, obviously, want to acquire the midfielder on a permanent basis – having agreed a £63million fee for the Dutchman.

But Barcelona are willing to let De Jong temporarily go so they can resolve his wage situation.

The Catalan giants owe De Jong millions in deferred wages after the midfielder agreed to take a pay cut at the start of the coronavirus pandemic in March 2020.

And they’re unwilling to cough all up of the cash, despite spending big on the likes of Robert Lewandowski, Raphinha and Jules Kounde.

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United’s De Jong alternatives

If United do fail to sign De Jong, it will be a blow.

And three players are being linked with the Red Devils in the event their pursuit of the Barcelona star fails to pay off.

Sergej Milinkovic-Savic is one of them, with the Lazio star previously on Jose Mourinho’s radar during the Portuguese’s spell at Old Trafford.

Ruben Neves is another, with the Portugal international having admirers behind the scenes at United.

And Youri Tielemans can’t be entirely ruled out, though there’s a sense the Belgium international would rather leave Leicester for Arsenal instead.

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