MANCHESTER UNITED and Barcelona have been in “direct contact” today over Frenkie de Jong, according to reports.

However, the Spanish giants are refusing to budge on their £74million valuation of the midfielder.

Manchester United are in negotiations with Barcelona over Frenkie de Jong

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Manchester United are in negotiations with Barcelona over Frenkie de JongCredit: Getty

According to journalist Fabrizio Romano, the two clubs continue their negotiations to see if a deal can be done.

New United boss Erik ten Hag wants to be reunited with his former Ajax star.

De Jong left Amsterdam for the Nou Camp in a deal worth up to £75m three years ago.

He is under contract with Barca until 2026.

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And due to Barcelona’s financial situation and strict LaLiga rules, they are determined to ensure they make their money back on the Netherlands international.

Not only that, but they also want to guarantee receiving the full £74m so they can reinvest in the squad.

United are on a desperate search for a new midfield maestro after Paul Pogba was released as a free agent.

However, with the Red Devils unable to get anything sealed just yet, rivals Manchester City could potentially scupper a deal.

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Pep Guardiola is also a huge admirer of De Jong and has been linked previously with signing the former Ajax academy graduate.

However, it is the Spanish boss’ refusal to sell Bernardo Silva that could wreck United’s chances of landing De Jong – as Barca view the Portuguese playmaker as the ideal replacement.

Old Trafford CEO Richard Arnold told angry fans this weekend the club are trying their best to complete the transfer.

He said: “As a club we’re doing everything possible to get the deal done.

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“I’ve been up for days trying to get it done, the money is there but there’s things standing in our way which I can’t say.”

De Jong is even said to have cleared out his Barcelona locker in preparation for a summer move.

Elsewhere, SunSport revealed Ten Hag is on the brink of completing his first signing as Red Devils boss.

Winger Antony looks set to sign from Ajax in a £40million deal.

His team-mates Jurrien Timber and Lisandro Martinez have also been linked, as has Christian Eriksen.

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