Man Utd edge towards Frenkie de Jong transfer as Barcelona ‘close deal’ for replacement

Man Utd's pre-season schedule as Red Devils head for Australia

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Manchester United appear to have received a huge boost to their hopes of landing Barcelona midfielder Frenkie de Jong, with the Catalan giants having agreed a deal to replace him with Valencia playmaker Carlos Soler, according to reports. The Red Devils have been chasing De Jong for some time but are finally believed to be making progress in talks with Barcelona over a permanent move for his signature.

United have reportedly seen an opening bid rejected by Barcelona for De Jong, who excelled under Erik ten Hag’s guidance during his time at Ajax before leaving in 2019. It seems as though the La Liga heavyweights could be gearing up to sell the midfielder, though, after striking an agreement with Valencia to bring Soler to the Nou Camp, according to AS.

It is claimed that Barcelona have managed to reach a full agreement to land Soler, who has been on their radar for a number of months, but the move will only be confirmed if De Jong is shipped out this summer. Xavi is now determined to get rid of the Dutchman as quickly as possible in order to finalise both deals before their pre-season preparations begin to take shape.

Soler has reportedly agreed a four-year contract with Barcelona, who will retain the option to extend his deal by an additional year. Valencia are set to receive a transfer fee in the region of £17.2million in exchange for the 25-year-old, who made his international debut for Spain back in August.

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Barcelona’s plan to land Soler appears to suggest that De Jong’s move to United could be fast-tracked over the coming days in order to resolve the ongoing situation involving both players. The latter has been targeted by the Red Devils for a number of months and is said to be frustrated over his standing at Barcelona in the knowledge that he is not an essential part of Xavi’s plans for the upcoming season.

United will be desperate to finally push a move for De Jong over the line in the not-too-distant future, with talks expected to continue at club level over the next few days. However, former England striker Stan Collymore recently suggested that the 25-year-old may not be good enough for a move to Old Trafford in spite of Ten Hag’s long-standing admiration for him.

“He reminds me a bit of Martin Odegaard in the way he was trumpeted as the next big thing, before moving to Spain and then failed to reach the heights expected of him,” Collymore told The Mirror.

“At least Odegaard was 16 when he joined Real Madrid, not 21, as De Jong was when he moved to Barcelona. Don’t get me wrong, De Jong is a good player, he has all the attributes and would be a decent addition to the squad.

“But I ask myself if he’s someone who will take United to the next level and the answer, frankly, is no.”

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