Why Manchester United-linked Frenkie de Jong is still at FC Barcelona

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With Manchester United believed to be in talks with FC Barcelona star Frenkie de Jong's representatives for weeks, the reason for the delay in the proposed move has now reportedly been revealed.

De Jong is considered to be United and their new manager Erik ten Hag's primary target for this window, with negotiations for the transfer now said to be advanced. 

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While a preliminary agreement over a transfer fee has been reached between the English outfit and the Blaugrana, the delay in the deal is said to be on the latter club's part.

It is claimed the two teams have agreed a transfer fee of £65 million (R1.3 billion), plus a further £17.4 million (R349 million) in performance-related add-ons. 

However, according to The Telegraph, Barca owe the Netherlands midfielder some outstanding wages, and this has stalled the transfer as the unpaid salary needs to be settled before the player parts ways with the Catalans. 

De Jong is said to have agreed to have his wages deferred during the coronavirus pandemic, with his yearly income at the club being reduced by £9.4 million (R188 million) in the 2020/21 campaign.

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Last season, the midfielder took a further pay cut of £4.3 million (R86 million), with the money owed to him by the Blaugrana amounting to £13.7 million (R275 million), while there is also an additional £3.4 million (R68 million) in waived bonuses.

In 2020, the former Ajax Amsterdam star extended his contract at the Camp Nou until 2026, thus allowing the LaLiga side to make payments over an extended period.

With the money still outstanding, the 25-year-old's pending move to Old Trafford is set to remain on hold for now.

To further complicate matters, the latest reports suggest that United's Premier League rivals Chelsea could be poised to swoop in and hijack the deal for the Dutch star.

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