Manchester United‘s pursuit of Barcelona midfielder Frenkie de Jong has reportedly been dealt a blow, with the Blaugrana rejecting the Premier League club’s opening bid after talks started on June 1.

According to reliable football journalist Fabrizio Romano, Barcelona on Friday rejected United’s opening bid of €60 million plus €10 million in add-ons for de Jong, but the two clubs remain in contact over the Dutchman’s future and negotiations have not broken down yet.

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It is understood that cash-strapped Barcelona want €80 million for the deep-lying playmaker as they look to create some financial room for Robert Lewandowski’s reported arrival from Bayern Munich. However, United believe that figure to be excessive vis-a-vis the current state of the transfer market.

At the moment, de Jong has not given any preference about where he wants to play next season, but it is understood that new United manager Erik ten Hag, who managed de Jong during his time at Ajax, is keen to secure the Dutchman’s signature this summer as he looks to spearhead a rebuild of a dismal United midfield.

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Although de Jong had earlier reiterated his desire to remain with Xavi and his resurgent team, SPORT reported that ongoing negotiations with United have left the Dutchman miffed, with de Jong believing that he is no longer untouchable and, in fact, replaceable.

If United do manage to secure a dissatisfied de Jong’s signature by meeting Barcelona’s demands or coming to a compromise, one thing is certain: the Dutchman is likely to be the cornerstone of a new United team as ten Hag looks to rebuild the squad and restore the Red Devils to their former glory.