Manchester United are set to return to the negotiating table and attempt to buy FC Barcelona star Frenkie de Jong this summer with a bid of €90mn ($96.1mn), according to reports.
De Jong was outstanding in a 1-0 win over Villarreal on Sunday evening, which put Barca 11 points clear of bitter rivals Real Madrid at the top of La Liga.
Thriving in a four-man midfield since the Spanish Super Cup final demolition of Los Blancos in Riyadh last month, the Dutchman stepped up in the absence of injured captain Sergio Busquets last night and controlled the midfield from deep so that goalscorer Pedri was free to attack.
Now thought of as untouchble in Xavi Hernadnez’s high-flying first XI, De Jong has enjoyed a change in fortunes compared to last summer.
Back then, he was viewed as the cash-strapped Catalans’ most sellable asset, and reports claimed that the club had accepted an €80mn (£85.5mn) offer for him from Manchester United in mid-July.
De Jong refused to leave, however, with United’s lack of Champions League football and a desire to succeed under Xavi reportedly among his main motivations to stay put.
The situation has entertained rumors of Ansu Fati also being offloaded, with the likes of Ferran Torres and Eric Garcia possibly heading for the chopping block too.