Ten Hag wants to bring the Barcelona midfielder to Old Trafford but there remains a snag in the plan that the player likely needs to sort before a transfer can be complete.
Manchester United have been long-term admirers of the Netherlands international and a guaranteed fee of around £63 million has reportedly been agreed with Barcelona for his services this summer.
With Paul Pogba departing on a free transfer this summer Ten Hag was in need of reinforcements in midfield and he appears to be closing in on a top target.
However, a problem remains. During the pandemic, De Jong, along with the rest of the Barcelona squad, took a pay cut in order to help the club.
But the wages were only meant to be deferred and the 25-year-old is still owed as much as £17 million in payments by the club for that period.
Tuesday night saw the former Ajax ace turn out for Xavi’s side in a pre-season friendly with Inter Miami but play at centre-back rather than his preferred midfield role after being left out of the starting XI.
This perhaps hints that the Barca legend is planning ahead without De Jong in mind for the 2022-23 season but it remains to be seen whether a deal can be sorted before the transfer window shuts.
It remains to be seen whether De Jong will move to United this summer but the deferred payments are certainly causing a delay to any potential deal.
Reports in Spain also indicate that Barcelona need to sell in order to shift the midfielder’s apparent £250,000-per-week wages from the bill.
But the fact that De Jong is happy to work with Ten Hag again will not doubt act as a significant boost to United moving forward.