FRENKIE DE JONG has reportedly said his goodbyes to Barcelona fans as he closes in on a move to Manchester United.
The Dutch star, 25, has long been linked with a move to Old Trafford to reunite with his former Ajax boss Erik ten Hag.
Barcelona are seemingly keen to sell the midfield maestro to help fund a summer overhaul of their squad while working within a tight budget due to financial restrictions imposed by LaLiga.
De Jong has attracted the interest of a host of European giants.
But it’s believed the 40-cap Holland international is keen on a move to United thanks to his relationship with Ten Hag.
The pair won the Eredivisie-KNVB Cup double in 2018-19 while also reaching the Champions League semis in the same season, just minutes away from facing Liverpool but for Tottenham’s heroic comeback.
And De Jong has all-but confirmed his Barcelona exit.
According to Gerard Romero, De Jong handed out five pairs of football boots and three Barcelona shirts to loyal fans as a way of saying thank you for their support over the years.
It’s also claimed the midfielder “wanted to say goodbye” to the supporters who would visit the training ground “every day”.
Various reports in Spain have claimed Barcelona are open to all offers for De Jong.
Ten Hag is keen to rekindle his relationship with the midfielder after thriving together at Ajax.
De Jong would ideally prefer to move to a club who will be playing in the Champions League next season – with Man Utd unable to offer that perk.
But Ten Hag is hopeful their relationship from days working together at Ajax could help persuade him to move to Manchester.
The new boss wants to sign at least one central midfielder with Paul Pogba and Nemanja Matic to leave United this summer, with others likely to follow.
The only stumbling block for now appears to be the transfer fee.
Cash-strapped Barca are keen to recoup the £65.3million they paid for De Jong when he joined them in the summer of 2019.
United will be working on a limited budget, with many of the big-name departures quitting on frees.
So Ten Hag’s biggest hurdle will be to negotiate a lower fee if he is to land his man.