Manchester United are struggling to convince Barcelona midfielder, Frenkie De Jong, to make the switch to Old Trafford.
Wide-spread recent reports have confirmed that the Netherlands international prefers to stay at the Nou Camp amid speculation he could be set for a reunion with former Ajax boss Erik ten Hag.
Manchester United have opened direct talks with Barça for Frenkie de Jong. Price tag around €85m, waiting for opening bid. 🚨 #MUFC
De Jong is still not convinced to leave Barça and he wants UCL football – Man Utd will try to push again as Barça need to solve financial issues. pic.twitter.com/jT18D37sPK
— Fabrizio Romano (@FabrizioRomano) June 1, 2022
Director John Murtough and club CEO Richard Arnold were recently spotted in Catalonia before quickly heading back to Manchester.
The two officials are rumoured to have issued the 25-year-old with an ultimatum – ‘accept by the end of the week, or the deal is off’ (Sport).
The latest in the ongoing saga comes from transfer expert Fabrizio Romano, who has reported that should the Red Devils fail in their pursuit of De Jong, they have two alternatives – Wolves’ Ruben Neves and Leicester City’s Youri Tielemans.
Both players come with their own problems though. Neves’ price tag could be far too high and the latter prefers a move elsewhere.
“The Frenkie de Jong deal is stalling, and plenty of people have been asking me about possible alternatives. For now, Manchester United remain absolutely focused on De Jong because he’s been Ten Hag’s priority all summer. Still, there are some other names who are of interest to the club,” Romano wrote in his exclusive CaughtOffside column.
“Ruben Neves has always been on Manchester United’s list but there is no intention of offering €100m – if Wolves ask for these figures it will not be completed.
“Youri Tielemans is highly appreciated, and there have been contacts to understand the price tag and the conditions of the deal. He wants to leave Leicester City, but the player’s priority has always been Arsenal. United have explored the deal, but I don’t expect more than that while they’re still aiming to turn things around with De Jong.”
All fingers will be crossed that the 20-time league winners can convince De Jong to join ten Hag at Old Trafford.
Failure to capture his number one target will see the Dutchman’s summer transfer plans ruined, and working on alternatives this close to the start of the season is never ideal.