We may or may not have reached a breakthrough now in the summer’s most transfer saga. FC Barcelona defensive midfielder Frenkie de Jong has been Manchester United’s top transfer target, all summer long, as this deal has been covered in the media since May.
You are, most likely, very much ready for closure on this situation. And we might be closer to realizing that now, with a transfer fee agreement having been reached between the two clubs. Although, it is worth noting that this is something we have heard before.
Manchester United have reached full agreement with Barcelona for Frenkie de Jong, after further talks. Package worth €85m. Fee guaranteed around €75m plus add-ons. ??? #MUFC
Personal terms, still the issue to be resolved – as Frenkie’s priority is to stay at Barcelona. pic.twitter.com/aTYnV3cHkP
— Fabrizio Romano (@FabrizioRomano) July 14, 2022
Take a look at what transfer guru Fabrizio Romano tweeted out five hours ago. The same scoop was tweeted out (see below), along with a story link to The Athletic, three hours later by David Ornstein, with the same sum of 85 million Euro.
So now we have to flash back to June 28, when we were ALSO told that an agreement had been reached on the fee. Sky Sports reported that a so-called “broad agreement” had been reached, on a transfer fee “believed to be €65m (£56m) plus performance-related add-ons.
? Man Utd in total agreement with Barcelona on €75m + €10m add-ons fee for Frenkie de Jong. Player side still unresolved in relation to personal terms with #MUFC & deferred wages with #FCBarcelona. W/ @lauriewhitwell @TheAthleticUK after @FabrizioRomano https://t.co/xThIizXKYE
— David Ornstein (@David_Ornstein) July 14, 2022
So it’s basically the same old story, over two weeks later, but now the price has risen sharply. So what gives? And why is De Jong still doing the “I am fully committed to FC Barcelona this season” bit? United’s front office men, Richard Arnold and John Murtough were spotted in Barcelona, so why would they go there if a deal wasn’t going to happen?
Well, the deal is being stalled by Barca dragging their feet on paying De Jong the €17million that they owe him.
Richard Arnold and John Murtough have both been spotted in Barcelona meeting with Jordi Cruyff…?? pic.twitter.com/SZUJJMFXbs
— WHF!?? (@UtdWesleyy) July 11, 2022
Given what’s become of Barcelona’s finances, and how well publicized their financial issues are, it’s easy to assume that they could have some problems getting that money together and out to the young Dutchman. Then again, the Catalan club has been busy in this summer transfer window signing new players, so they seem to have the money for that!
But why has the price gone up?
It this some kind of creative accounting? Is United going to pick up some or all of the tab on what Barca still owe him? United are said to be very close on signing Lisandro Martinez today too. Would they sign both if they can? Will United’s summer transfer window, which got off to a moribund start and still seems pretty unimpressive, finally do a 180?
Will it be “here we go” time twice? There are a ton of questions, and most, if not all will hopefully be answered soon.
Paul M. Banks is the owner/manager of The Bank (TheSportsBank.Net) and author of “Transatlantic Passage: How the English Premier League Redefined Soccer in America,” as well as “No, I Can’t Get You Free Tickets: Lessons Learned From a Life in the Sports Media Industry.”
He has regularly appeared in WGN, Sports Illustrated and the Chicago Tribune, and he co-hosts the After Extra Time podcast, part of Edge of the Crowd Network. Follow him and the website on Twitter and Instagram.Follow paulmbanks