Ten Hag has made signing his former Ajax protege his top transfer priority this summer and, after weeks of negotiations, United thought they were close to striking a deal for a fee of around £56million in addition to various add-ons which would take the total package to £75m.
But the two clubs still appear to be at odds over the structure of the deal, with Barca keen to receive a bigger guaranteed fee up front.
That still works out as roughly the same amount in terms of total outlay, but Barca want to front-load the fee so they can begin reinvesting the funds this summer.
Xavi has also made it clear to Barcelona’s hierarchy that he does not want to sanction the sale of De Jong until the club have agreed a deal for his replacement.
The Spaniard’s top choice is Manchester City playmaker Bernardo Silva and Barca president Joan Laporta actually met with the midfielder’s agent, Jorge Mendes, earlier this week.
Pep Guardiola would be extremely reluctant to sell the 27-year-old, however, and is believed to have slapped a £70m price tag on the former Monaco man.
In the meantime, De Jong has been left in a state of limbo and is unsure of where he will be playing his football next season.
After initially being reluctant to swap Camp Nou for Old Trafford, De Jong is thought to have had his mind changed following talks with Ten Hag and the two have remained in contact on a daily basis ever since.
Although United unveiled their first signing of the summer on Tuesday, securing a £13m deal for Feyenoord left-back Tyrell Malacia, the window has largely been a frustrating one for Ten Hag so far.
The Dutchman knows his squad needs to be drastically overhauled and he had hoped to have more new signings in place before the squad begin their pre-season tour at the end of the week.
While a deal for De Jong may still have some hurdles to overcome, free agent Christian Eriksen has verbally agreed a three-year contract with United and is expected to sign imminently.
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