Manchester United’s De Jong chase slowed by £17m owed in deferred wages

Frenkie de Jong’s proposed transfer to Manchester United is being held up by about £17m the midfielder is owed in deferred salary payments by Barcelona.

The Guardian understands that United and the Catalan club are working to resolve the issue because it is a major barrier to De Jong being signed for an agreed €65m (£56.2m) plus add-ons fee.

The 25-year-old deferred wage payments because of the impact of the pandemic and Barcelona’s financial predicament. The money is due to be paid across the remainder of his contract, which runs until 2026.

There remains confidence at United that De Jong will be signed but a recognition that patience is required. Barcelona have been approached for comment.

Christian Eriksen, another Erik ten Hag target, is close to finalising his move to United as a free agent. The Dane’s paperwork is being checked before he signs a three-year deal.

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