Manchester United have €70m Frenkie de Jong offer rejected by Barcelona

Erik Ten Hag makes Netherlands midfield priority target in first summer as manager

Manchester United have had an opening bid for Frenkie de Jong of €60m (£51.3m) plus a potential €10m in add-ins rejected by Barcelona.

The clubs remain in contact, with Erik ten Hag making the Netherlands midfielder a priority target in his first summer as United’s manager. The pair worked together for a year and a half at Ajax.

Barcelona value De Jong at about €85m and may be willing to sell because of their financial predicament. A deal would make it easier for them to pursue players such as 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 he hoped to stay “for many more years” – and if he were to move his preference would be to join a club in the Champions League.

United have qualified for next season’s Europa League but hope the presence of Ten Hag and their planned rebuild could convince the 25-year-old to join.

Darwin Núñez is among others players on United’s wishlist but Liverpool are ahead in the battle to sign the Benfica forward. They have made a formal proposal to buy the Uruguay international for €80m plus add-ons, as expected, and are ready to give Núñez a five-year contract.

Discussions are continuing between Liverpool and Benfica regarding the scale of the add-ons, likely to be worth up to €20m, and how the fee would be paid, with Liverpool favouring instalments. – Guardian