Man Utd tell Barcelona top price they will pay for Frenkie de Jong with clubs way apart | Football | Sport

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Manchester United will refuse to be drawn into another long-running transfer saga surrounding Barcelona midfielder Frenkie de Jong this summer, according to reports. Sir Jim Ratcliffe will oversee crucial business in his first transfer window as a minority owner, and he is keen to wipe out the overpaying culture at Old Trafford.

Erik ten Hag managed De Jong during his successful reign at Ajax before Barcelona came knocking for his signature in 2019.

The Dutchman made him his priority target after becoming United manager in 2022 and the club reportedly agreed an initial £53million deal with Barca.

However, De Jong rejected a switch to M16 in favour of staying in the Spanish city, prompting a £70m push for Real Madrid’s Casemiro.

De Jong appears to have returned to the agenda again this year, though. According to the Daily Star, the 26-year-old is seeking a new challenge, and Barcelona are hopeful of removing him from their wage bill.

But the La Liga giants are said to have slapped a £90m asking price on his head, which Ratcliffe simply isn’t willing to meet as he helps fund the start of INEOS’ recruitment drive.

The report claims United believe £70m is a more realistic valuation and have told Barcelona they will not be held to ransom or drawn into another tiresome transfer chase.

It’s claimed that Ratcliffe – eyeing Newcastle United’s Dan Ashworth and Southampton’s Jason Wilcox for key recruitment roles – wants the Red Devils to start finding more value in the transfer market.

He is said to believe Ten Hag and previous managers have developed a habit of overpaying for blockbuster signings in recent years.

Anthony, Casemiro, Harry Maguire and Jadon Sancho feature among the examples, and De Jong won’t be the next despite Ten Hag’s desire for a reunion.

The 54-year-old might have to look elsewhere for a long-term successor to Casemiro, who has endured a poor season and turns 32 this month.

United will have to be careful with their summer budget amid tight Financial Fair Play and Premier League Profit and Sustainability restrictions.

Ratcliffe may especially be limited if Ten Hag fails to guide his side into next season’s Champions League by finishing in the Premier League‘s top four, potentially top five.

United will look to address multiple positions, namely right-back, centre-back, central midfielder, right-wing and striker, ahead of INEOS’ first full season at the helm.

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