Erik ten Hags stance as Man Utd drag their feet through Frenkie de Jong transfer talks
Man Utd target de Jong hailed by Wales boss
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Erik ten Hag is still confident he’ll be reunited with Frenkie de Jong despite Manchester United dragging their feet through negotiations with Barcelona, according to reports. The 25-year-old recently jetted off on holiday after featuring for the Netherlands in the Nations League. And, at the current time of writing, his future remains uncertain.
Ten Hag coaxed the best from De Jong during their time at Ajax together, helping to shape the 25-year-old into one of the best midfielders on the planet.
His fine form in the 2018/2019 season earned him a move to Barcelona, though he’s often blown hot and cold in the time since.
It’s been known for weeks, now, that United are pursuing a deal for De Jong as they look to offset the departures of Nemanja Matic and Paul Pogba on free transfers.
But while negotiations have been slow, Goal claim Ten Hag is still confident he’ll land his man.
United have, historically, taken time to strike deals.
That can lead to frustration among fans, many of which are clamouring for new additions after a shambolic season under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer and Ralf Rangnick.
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But they’re determined not to pay over the odds for targets, especially given the fact they’re working on a limited budget.
United walked away from a deal for Jadon Sancho in 2020, despite him being their top target, because they believed Borussia Dortmund’s quoted fee was too high.
Yet while they’re being patient with De Jong, the publication say they do have alternatives should a move fall through.
No names are mentioned – but several have been linked.
Ruben Neves, of Wolves, would be one potential option yet the Premier League side are adamant they’ll need a fee close to £100million to let the Portugal international go.
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Porto’s Vitinha has also emerged as a target, though Arsenal are also eyeing the 22-year-old.
And United have longstanding interest in both Declan Rice and Kalvin Phillips, who have flourished for West Ham and Leeds in recent years.
Barcelona have publicly insisted they want De Jong to stay at the club.
But their financial situation means they may have no choice but to cash in on the player after just three years in Catalonia.
Barcelona need to make a big sale by June 30, with president Joan Laporta eager for them to balance the books by that date.
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They’re waiting to register Franck Kessie and Andreas Christensen, who are poised to join from AC Milan and Chelsea respectively.
And they’re also on the prowl for Bayern Munich hitman Robert Lewandowski, who is eager to leave the Allianz Arena for a new challenge elsewhere.
Regarding De Jong, meanwhile, former United star Luke Chadwick called on the Red Devils to get a deal for the Barcelona star over the line.
“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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