Manchester United have been dealt a blow in their pursuit of Barcelona midfielder Frenkie de Jong, according to reports.
Erik ten Hag has made the Netherlands international his top transfer target ahead of his debut season in charge at Old Trafford.
However, progress has been slow and there are fears among the United (opens in new tab) fan base that the club might miss out on the midfielder.
The Red Devils have reached an agreement with Barcelona (opens in new tab) that would see them pay an initial fee of £63m, with £8.5m in potential add-ons, to secure the Dutchman’s services.
But the deal is complicated by the fact that De Jong is owed £17m in deferred salary payments by his current employers.
And of even more concern for United is the the fact that De Jong would rather stay at the Camp Nou than move to Old Trafford.
The former Ajax (opens in new tab) man, who worked with Ten Hag during their time together at the Johan Cruyff Arena, joined Barcelona in 2019.
He feels he still has unfinished business at the Camp Nou and would rather stay put if a move to United was the only other option on the table.
However, there is thought to be one club De Jong would be willing to leave Barcelona for.
He believes it would be easier to adapt to Bayern’s style of play, and is not particularly keen on the Premier League for that reason.
He is also close friends with his former Ajax team-mate Matthijs de Ligt, who is on the way to the Allianz Arena from Juventus (opens in new tab).
As for Chelsea (opens in new tab), the other club that has been linked with a move for the 25-year-old, De Jong would only consider Stamford Bridge as a destination in the event of a sensational offer.
The Blues do have the advantage of being in the Champions League, unlike United.