Frenkie de Jong is a priority target for Manchester United (Photo by SAEED KHAN/AFP via Getty Images) Photographer: SAEED KHAN Provider: AFP via Getty Images Source: AFP

Manchester United have opened talks with Frenkie de Jong in an attempt to convince the Dutchman to move to Old Trafford.

The 25-year-old stated on Tuesday that he is aware of interest from the Red Devils but that his preference is to remain at his ‘dream’ club Barcelona.

However, the decision is not entirely De Jong’s, as Barcelona are suffering from crippling financial problems and need to sell in order to buy this summer.

Xavi is therefore willing to discard of De Jong, despite being an admirer of the midfielder.

De Jong would cost around £74m. (Photo by Eric Alonso/Getty Images)

Erik ten Hag has made the midfielder his number one target and he hopes that the pair’s existing relationship from their 18-month spell at Ajax will persuade him to move to Old Trafford.

And Fabrizio Romano claims that the mission to convince De Jong to join the club is underway, with United now in talks with the player over a move to the Theatre of Dreams.

Barcelona value De Jong at around £72m, though United would prefer to pay significantly less than that.

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Nemanja Matic and Paul Pogba are both set to leave United this summer, leaving substantial gaps in the midfield of the park.

Fred and Scott McTominay would be the only recognised central midfielders left at the club, with Bruno Fernandes considered more of a playmaker by Ten Hag.

Defence is another area that Ten Hag wants to strengthen and Jurrien Timber, the Ajax ace, admitted on Tuesday that he was considering a move to United.

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