Man United make first offer for Barcelona’s De Jong originally appeared on NBC Sports Chicago

Manchester United are not throwing in the towel in their pursuit of Barcelona midfielder Frenkie de Jong. In fact, it’s quite the opposite.

According to Spanish outlet Marca, the Red Devils have presented their first bid to Barcelona for the Dutchman. The report claims Manchester United sent an offer of approximately $64 million with an additional $21 million in add-ons. The Catalan side value De Jong at almost $86 million.

While De Jong would prefer to stay at Barcelona, the club’s financial situation has backed them into a corner and are being forced to sell some of their players. De Jong is one of the few on the team who would command a high transfer fee. In addition, Barcelona need to reduce the wage bill in order to make new signings.

Despite the midfielder’s insistence on staying, he may have given a possible hint that he’s having second thoughts following comments he made after a game with the Netherlands.

“Here in the national team I have a position that suits me better,” De Jong said. “I like being the first player to receive the ball from the defenders.”

At Barcelona, he’s been used more as an interior midfielder with Sergio Busquets playing the central midfielder role. Busquets is the one who drops deep to receive the ball from the defenders.

One of the reasons De Jong isn’t so keen on joining Manchester United is because he wants to play in the Champions League. United are in the Europa League and given the stiff competition in the Premier League, they cannot guarantee they’ll be in the Champions League the season after that.

Erik ten Hag has taken over as the new Manchester United manager and wants De Jong to spearhead his new project. He managed De Jong when they were both at Ajax.

The ball is now in Barcelona’s court as they have to decide whether or not to accept United’s proposal. Barcelona manager Xavi Hernandez has repeatedly praised De Jong and wants him to stay. At the same time, however, he is well aware of the club’s financial difficulties. A situation Manchester United will look to use to their advantage.

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