Manchester United have an opening offer for Frenkie de Jong of €60million (£51.3million) plus a potential €10million worth of add-ins rejected by Barcelona.
The clubs remain in touch and Erik ten Hag is making the Dutch midfielder a priority in his first summer as United manager. The pair worked together at Ajax for a year and a half.
Barcelona value De Jong at around €85 million and may be willing to sell due to their financial predicament. A deal would make it easier for them to chase the likes of Manchester City’s Bernardo Silva and Bayern Munich’s Robert Lewandowski.
De Jong is not pushing to leave Barcelona – he told the Guardian in February that he hoped to stay “for many more years” – and if he did move, his preference would be a Champions League club.
United have qualified for next season’s Europa League, but hope Ten Hag’s presence and their planned rebuilding can convince the 25-year-old to compete.
Darwin Núñez is on United’s wish list, among other things, but Liverpool is leading the way in the battle to sign the Benfica attacker. They have made a formal offer to buy the Uruguay international for €80million plus extras, as expected, and are ready to give Núñez a five-year deal.
Talks between Liverpool and Benfica continue over the size of the extras, which are likely to be worth up to €20m, and how the compensation would be paid, with Liverpool preferring installments.