Man Utd target de Jong hailed by Wales boss
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Manchester United currently have no plans to walk away from a deal for Barcelona star Frenkie de Jong, according to reports. The Netherlands international is Erik ten Hag’s top transfer target for the summer window. But despite having an agreement in place with the La Liga giants, there’s still plenty of work to be done.
Manchester United first opened talks for De Jong over 50 days ago, with Ten Hag eager to be reunited with a player he previously managed for three years at Ajax.
And the Manchester Evening News claims they’re still eager to land the midfielder, despite the complexities involved.
It’s claimed a ‘sticking point’ is the wage deferral Barcelona players agreed to during the pandemic in 2020.
De Jong is owed loyalty bonuses and a fixed salary, too, and United insiders believe this must be resolved before the deal can go forward.
United are said to have back-up options on their radar, however.
And three players have been strongly linked in recent days, at a time where their pursuit of De Jong continues to rumble on.
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Ruben Neves is on United’s radar, though Wolves have said they’d want a fee in the region of £100million to part ways with their prized asset.
Youri Tielemans had been expected to move to Arsenal from Leicester but, with that transfer yet to materialise, he may end up moving to Old Trafford instead.
And Leandro Paredes has also emerged as a target amid uncertainty over his future at Ligue 1 giants Paris Saint-Germain.
For now, though, United remain interested in De Jong.
Though reports in Spain said over the weekend that the Netherlands international was unwilling to move to Old Trafford.
It was claimed De Jong has brought a new house in Barcelona and is happy living there with his fiancee, Mimmy Kiemeney.
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Barcelona are his dream club, a team he’s always dreamed of playing for ever since he was young – which is another factor in his thinking.
And he also has doubts about a move to United due to the fact they won’t be playing in the Champions League next term, too.
De Jong reportedly thinks the Red Devils are ‘jinxed’ having failed to win the Premier League title since Sir Alex Ferguson’s retirement in 2013.
And he isn’t tempted to move to Manchester due to the weather, with Barcelona certainly having a better climate.
Whether United can get a deal for De Jong over the line remains to be seen.
And he’s not the only player on the Red Devils’ radar at present, with John Murtough also working on deals for three other players.
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United are confident Christian Eriksen will join, despite Brentford insisting they’re not giving up hope of keeping the 30-year-old.
They’re targeting Lisandro Martinez, though there have been suggestions Ajax are now set to up their asking price for the Argentina international.
And United also want Antony, though he may be too expensive this summer.
Speaking recently, meanwhile, Luke Chadwick expressed a belief De Jong would be a good addition to United if they can get a deal done.
“I definitely think the club should go for someone like De Jong. United need new options in the middle of the pitch, and he’s a hugely gifted player,” Chadwick told CaughtOffside.
“We’re not privy to his situation or everything that’s being said behind closed doors, but it does seem like every Ajax player past and present is being linked with United since Ten Hag got the job.
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“I’m sure those Dutch players in that incredible team that Ten Hag built at Ajax would relish the opportunity to work with him again.
“I’m sure someone like De Jong would at least want the opportunity to speak to the club.
“He fits the profile, he’s a completely different character to Pogba in terms of how he conducts himself off the pitch.
“In my eyes, looking at the player, but not knowing the entire situation, admittedly, I think United should go for him.
“I think he should be considered because of what he did at Ajax under Ten Hag previously.”
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