Barcelona have turned down Manchester United’s opening offer for Frenkie de Jong and set their asking price for the midfielder.
Erik ten Hag worked with De Jong at Ajax and is keen to make the Netherlands star his first Red Devils signing.
Dutch manager Ten Hag has signed a three-year contract at Old Trafford and knows reinforcements are needed to turn the club’s fortunes around.
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United have been in discussions with Barcelona for a number of weeks and have now made an offer worth €60m (£51m) plus €10m (£8.5m) in add-ons.
But Fabrizio Romano claims Barcelona have turned down the offer, while ESPN claim Barca are holding out for an overall package worth £85m.
The La Liga giants are prepared to offload De Jong to help balance the books amid an ongoing financial crisis at the club, but will not let him go on the cheap.
De Jong has reiterated his desire to stay at Barcelona but United are hopeful of convincing him to link up with his former Ajax head coach in Manchester.
‘I can’t say anything about that but I prefer to stay at Barcelona,’ De Jong said earlier in the month.
‘I have already said it before, Barcelona are the club of my dreams since I was little. If other clubs call I will take the call, of course. It is something that is always done.’
Meanwhile, Netherlands hero Rafael van der Vaart has urged his compatriot to move to Old Trafford this summer.
‘That is of course the most ideal. Then you have a trainer who knows exactly what you can and cannot do,’ Van der Vaart told Ziggo Sport, referring to Ten Hag.
‘United still need a little quality. There are players who can do the same and maybe be better than you or have performed more.
‘As long as those other players are there, he is out of place at Barcelona. At United he could play more like with the Dutch national team. Then he’s the only one of his kind.’