De Jong quizzed on Man Utd transfer links
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Manchester United are hoping to finally sign Frenkie de Jong from Barcelona this week, according to reports. Erik ten Hag wants the Netherlands international at all costs, believing he’s vital to his Old Trafford project. But Chelsea can’t be ruled out, with Thomas Tuchel on the lookout for new midfielders as the start of the summer transfer window edges closer.
Manchester United have spent nearly three full months pursuing De Jong.
They’ve agreed an initial £63million deal for the Barcelona star but a move to Old Trafford remains in the balance, with no guarantee it will take place.
According to Sport on Monday, United are hoping to finally sign De Jong this week.
With the start of the new Premier League season edging closer, it seems they’re prepared to up the ante to ensure they land their man in time for their opening fixture against Brighton on Sunday (2pm).
United will look to agree personal terms with De Jong, despite the player’s reluctance to leave Barcelona.
Barcelona, for their part, are still urgently looking to offload the 25-year-old and have made it clear he needs to go.
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They’ve already set their sights on Bernardo Silva as a potential replacement, with the playmaker’s long-term future at Manchester City up in the air.
The report says United are prepared to pay lucrative terms to land De Jong.
But Chelsea have a bait in that they can offer the Barcelona star the chance to live in London, which is something that may appeal to the Netherlands international.
Should the Blues press ahead with plans to hijack a deal, then that may be a crucial factor in whatever De Jong decides.
But, for now, United remain frontrunners.
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Though they don’t have Champions League football to offer De Jong, they’re hopeful his good relationship with Ten Hag will work in their favour.
And United also want four other signings by the time the transfer window slams shut on September 1.
They want a new back-up goalkeeper in the wake of the decision to send Dean Henderson out on loan, with the England international set to spend the season at Nottingham Forest.
Sergio Romero would love to return to Old Trafford however, currently, there’s no indication the Argentina international will get his wish.
United also want to land a new right-back to provide competition for Aaron Wan-Bissaka and Diogo Dalot.
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They’d like to recruit a senior forward, particularly if Cristiano Ronaldo ends up leaving amid his desire to play for a Champions League team.
And a young forward is also wanted, with Red Bull Salzburg’s Benjamin Sesko and Ajax’s Antony two players being eyed.
Meanwhile, speaking to the Daily Mail, Louis Saha has hailed Ten Hag as United’s ‘best signing’ of the summer so far.
Tyrell Malacia, Christian Eriksen and Lisandro Martinez have joined from Feyenoord, Brentford and Ajax respectively.
But Saha has instead chosen to hail the appointment of Ten Hag, saying: “I think he has so far been United’s best signing.
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“The players were out of form but they seem to be coming back stronger and the squad seems to be balanced.
“I would have loved to play under him because he seems to be very strong in what he believes, but at the same time he seems to be really enjoying listening to players and helping them to improve.
“We can see that players enjoy playing under him, but they still need to run hard, really work hard, but enjoy their football at the same time, so there is a great balance.
“Cristiano [Ronaldo] has been the difficult part, because you have to look for a replacement.
“But you also have to please the demands of the player because he wants to leave or, or he isn’t happy about the guarantees he received.”
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