Barcelona ‘convinced Frenkie de Jong will change mind on Man Utd transfer’ as saga goes on

De Jong quizzed on Man Utd transfer links

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Barcelona think Frenkie de Jong will end up moving to Manchester United this summer, it has been claimed. Erik ten Hag’s side have been chasing the 25-year-old throughout the transfer window so far. However, despite agreeing a fee with their La Liga counterparts, the Red Devils are yet to get a deal over the line.

Manchester United quickly earmarked De Jong as their top target back in May, shortly after it was confirmed Ten Hag would be the club’s permanent replacement for Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.

Yet while they’ve agreed to pay £63million for the Netherlands international, the saga continues to drag on.

It’s an open secret that De Jong is reluctant to leave Barcelona, having long dreamed of playing for the Catalan giants ever since he was a youngster.

But COPE journalist Helena Condos Edo has claimed on Twitter that, over at the Nou Camp, they think the 25-year-old will end up making the move to United in the end.

“Barca has NOT yet ruled out the sale of Frenkie De Jong,” she said.

“They trust the Club that @DeJongFrenkie21 ends up changing its mind.

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“Although, for now, it is still closed in on the sidelines and [he] maintains that it wants to stay.”

Barcelona have been saying publicly that De Jong isn’t up for sale.

But the reality is that, due to their financial situation, the Catalan giants are open to cutting the former Ajax star loose.

Big things were expected of De Jong when Ernesto Valverde snapped him up back in the summer transfer window of 2019, beating Manchester City and Paris Saint-Germain to the midfielder in the process.

Yet the Netherlands international has often struggled for consistency under the likes of Xavi, Ronald Koeman, Quique Setien and Ernesto Valverde so far.

At Ajax, De Jong established himself as one of the best players in world football under Ten Hag.

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The pair both won the Eredivisie title together, while also helping the Dutch side reach the semi-finals of the Champions League.

And that’s why the new United boss is so keen on a reunion.

Should a deal fail to materialise, however, it’s possible the Red Devils will move on to other targets instead.

Ruben Neves has long had admirers at United, though Wolves have previously said they’d want around £100m to let the Portugal international go.

And Youri Tielemans is another option, with the Belgium international previously being linked with a move to Arsenal amid uncertainty over his Leicester future.

United, with De Jong, are willing to play the long game.

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The midfielder is also owed £17m in deferred wages from Barcelona, having agreed to take a pay cut at the start of the coronavirus pandemic in March 2020.

And whether they’re successful in landing their top target remains to be seen.

Should De Jong move to England, he’ll become United’s fourth signing of the summer transfer window so far.

Tyrell Malacia was the first to arrive, with the Netherlands left-back arriving from Feyenoord having previously looked likely to join Lyon instead.

United then confirmed the arrival of Christian Eriksen on a free transfer, just over a year after the Denmark international suffered a cardiac arrest at the European Championships.

And Lisandro Martinez has also touched down, with the Argentina international moving from Ajax.

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Former Crystal Palace midfielder Darren Ambrose, meanwhile, thinks James Garner could step up for United should De Jong not move.

“I’m 50-50 whether he [De Jong] will end up a Manchester United player or not,” Ambrose told talkSPORT. “So James Garner, I think he could make the step up, I certainly do.

“You look at when a manager comes into a football club, one of the first things they want to do is prove they can improve players. He [Ten Hag] can certainly do that, he’s done that at Ajax.

“I think he will be looking at a player like James Garner and thinking, ‘I can prove that I can build a player into, not just a normal squad, but into a Manchester United squad that’s trying to build and get back up there’.

“It’s happened before with young players at Manchester United. That’s potentially the way he wants to build.

“I think James Garner is a fantastic player. I’m not comparing him with Frenkie de Jong, but there’s potential that he can grow into that position and play a similar role.”

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