Manchester United remain in direct talks with Barcelona as former Ajax manager and the Red Devils’ new coach, Erik ten Hag, seems bent on bringing the Dutch midfielder Frenkie de Jong over to the Premier League side. However, the 25-year-old has repeatedly insisted on his wish to remain with the Catalans.
Recently, Tom Collomosse of Mail Sport reported de Jong speaking about the United deal, saying “You’re always flattered when teams show interest in you as a player, but I am at the biggest club in the world at the moment”. The midfielder added, “I feel fine there [at Barcelona], so… no news”.
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Meanwhile, the two clubs are trying to reach common ground on de Jong’s price tag. Barcelona is unwilling to accept anything lower than €85 million, and have turned down United’s previous offer of €60 million & €10 million add-ons.
The United snub comes amid the side’s recent inability to perform competitively, losing the chance to play this year’s Champions League, something a player of de Jong’s calibre is sure to take into account. With ten Hag at the helm, things seem poised for a change at the Old Trafford side, but the Xavi-led Barcelona has shown immense promise and with the touted arrival of Polish striker Robert Lewandowski, from Bayern Munich, Barcelona is looking to become a force to be reckoned with once again.
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The La Liga side, however, don’t have a problem with offloading de Jong since they face some financial constraints, and the sale might boost their coffers which would go a long way in helping Barcelona land Lewandowski.
Apart from de Jong, United are also keen on bringing back Donny van de Beek and offering the former Ajax player a more central role in the squad. The English side’s changes come amid Frenchman Paul Pogba’s departure with the intent to join Juventus.