Man Utd expect to complete first summer signing next week after big breakthrough

Manchester United expect to complete their first summer signing next week after holding positive talks with Barcelona over a deal for Frenkie de Jong.

New Old Trafford manager Erik ten Hag has made Netherlands international De Jong his top target in his first transfer window in charge of United.

Ten Hag managed De Jong while they were both at Ajax and is keen to reunite with the 25-year-old at the Theatre of Dreams.

It appeared as though Manchester United were set to miss out on a deal for De Jong as they struggled to agree a deal with Barcelona and saw an opening bid for the Dutchman rejected.

United’s task was made that much harder by the fact De Jong publicly said he was happy to stay at Barcelona, where he has spent three seasons.

But Spanish outlet Sport say Manchester United are now ‘very close’ to agreeing a deal with the La Liga giants, believed to be worth £68m.

It is claimed that United, who are one of the few Premier League clubs yet to sign any players this summer, expect to complete a deal for De Jong next week.

While De Jong has said he is more than content at Barca, he has reportedly been persuaded by Ten Hag to make the move to Manchester.

United have let go a number of midfielders this summer, with the likes of Paul Pogba, Nemanja Matic and Juan Mata all leaving Old Trafford.

Speaking earlier this week, Red Devils legend Gary Pallister urged his former club to complete a deal for De Jong but warned that Barcelona will not sell on the cheap.

‘Barcelona know how desperate United are to bring in players,’ Pallister said. ‘They are going to push to the nth degree to get whatever money they can and that is the case whenever United come knocking.

‘They are still seen as one of the richest clubs in the world. Hopefully they can get that deal done, de Jong is at the right age, has plenty of experience and is the type of player that can really express himself at a place like United.

‘He is used to the pressure and the spotlight having been at Barcelona so he would certainly tick a box. Midfield has been an area of concern.’

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