Frenkie de Jong’s proposed move to Manchester United from Barcelona has been held up by deferred payments from the Spanish club, The Telegraph reports.
The Red Devils have been in regular negotiations for the Netherlands international over the past month, and it was recently claimed that they had reached a broader agreement of £56m plus £17m in add-ons.
However, the transfer has continued to be held up by the fact that the Blaugrana owe the Dutchman around £17.1m in deferred payments over two years.
The 25-year-old, who is currently on a basic salary of £12m per year, reportedly accepted to lower his wages by £9.1m in 2020/21 due to the covid pandemic.
He also accepted a £4.3m reduction on his wages last term while waiving his bonuses (£3.4m) for playing 60 per cent of Barcelona’s matches over the last two seasons.
Barcelona were planning to spread the debt over four years with his contract expiring in June 2026, but must now settle up front for him to move on.
United’s pursuit of De Jong hits fresh stumbling block
The Red Devils have been prioritising a deal for De Jong for several weeks, and they have now received a fresh stumbling block in the pursuit of the Dutchman.
De Jong was initially reluctant to make the move to Old Trafford due to the lack of Champions League football, but he has recently given the green light to reunite with his former Ajax manager Erik ten Hag.
Hence, personal terms may not act as a stumbling block for the transfer, but United now have another problem to deal with Barcelona having to pay up £17.1m such that the transfer deal can be finalised.
This could be the reason behind club president Joan Laporta reiterating that Barcelona don’t want to sell him this summer. The club are not in a position to pay the debts with their financial concerns.
The Blaugrana ideally want to keep De Jong at the club if he accepts a reasonable pay-cut, but the midfielder is unlikely to do so in the prime of his career. This transfer saga could drag on for a while.
Stats from Transfermarkt.com