Manchester United hope to make progress in their pursuit of Barcelona’s Frenkie de Jong this week by tabling an improved bid for the midfielder, say reports.
The two clubs have been locked in negotiations for weeks over the Netherlands international’s potential transfer.
Erik ten Hag is eager to reinforce his midfield following the departures of Paul Pogba, Nemanja Matic and Juan Mata at the end of their contracts, and the manager’s former Ajax charge is the top target.
According to the Manchester Evening News (opens in new tab), United will return with an improved bid for De Jong this week after having an opening offer worth €60m (£52m) turned down.
Barca want to avoid making a loss on a player they signed for €75m (£65m) in 2019, and will demand the same fee they paid, plus add-ons.
Sources at Old Trafford told the outlet that they are “negotiating hard” to get a fair price for the 25-year-old.
Overpaying for the Dutchman could have a damaging effect on United’s efforts to strengthen other areas of the squad, with the likes of Christian Eriksen, Antony and Daniel Bachmann among the names linked recently.
They received bad news on Thursday, as one reported target Christopher Nkunku signed a new contract (opens in new tab) with RB Leipzig, while promising Derby youngster Malcolm Ebiowei agreed to join Crystal Palace despite interest from Old Trafford. (opens in new tab)