Frenkie de Jong has told Manchester United and Barcelona he doesn’t want to leave the Nou Camp, according to reports in Spain. It’s emerged over the past 24 hours that the Red Devils are close to landing the 25-year-old. However, this fresh development now suggests otherwise and will likely have Erik ten Hag concerned behind the scenes.
It’s been an open secret that United want to sign De Jong this summer, with the 25-year-old Ten Hag’s top transfer target as he looks to build a dynasty at Old Trafford. Over the past 24 hours, it’s been suggested the Red Devils have made progress when it comes to striking a deal.
However, at the 11th hour, Catalan newspaper Sport claim De Jong has told both United and Barcelona that he doesn’t intend to jump ship. It’s stated the Netherlands international is ‘determined’ to stay at the Nou Camp.
And he’s now transmitted this to both clubs involved, striking United a hammer transfer blow in the process.
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United are said to be the only team showing ‘real interest’ in De Jong, despite links to Manchester City and Bayern Munich arising in the past. Ten Hag is said to want De Jong to be ‘one of the leaders of his project’, with the Red Devils pushing hard to secure the arrival of the 25-year-old.
The situation is described as ‘tense’ with De Jong determined to be a Barcelona hit, having struggled for consistency in the three years since his move from Ajax.
De Jong ‘even doubts his agent’, Ali Dursan, for trying to get him to join United this summer. And the 25-year-old is also unhappy at the way he’s being treated, feeling Barcelona and other parties are putting pressure on him to make the move to the Premier League.
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De Jong could still end up moving to United, who have promised to make him one of their best-paid players. That’s in the wake of Paul Pogba’s departure, with the France international rejecting an offer of £300,000 a week in order to return to Juventus.
Barcelona need to balance their finances. And if De Jong does up staying in Catalonia, rather than going, then it’s likely he’ll have to take a substantial pay cut to help the La Liga titans balance the books.
United’s current offer supposedly ‘hardly comes close’ to what De Jong currently earns at Barcelona - and it seems like this saga is set to roll on for a little while longer.
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Meanwhile, Express Sport recently sat down to talk with United legend Wes Brown. And he expressed a belief De Jong would be a major addition to the Red Devils, saying: “Yeah I do, I think he’s a quality player who is good on the ball.
“He’s not shy with the ball and we obviously know we’ve had a lot of players leave, especially midfielders in general.
“Whether they were getting to the end, a bit older, but there’s been quite a lot gone. So we’re pretty thin there. Midfield is definitely a signing that we need and De Jong, I think, would fit the bill very nicely.”