Erik ten Hag ‘wants Man Utd to bid for Frenkie de Jong’ despite public transfer snub

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Reports claim Erik ten Hag wants Manchester United to try their luck with a formal bid for Frenkie de Jong – despite the midfielder confirming his desire to stay at Barcelona this summer. The Dutch international has now outlined his plan to stay in Catalonia next season following several weeks of intense transfer speculation.

De Jong is considered to be one of Ten Hag’s top transfer targets but as of now, he does not want to jump ship and leave Barcelona.

However, according to ESPN, there is a belief within United being driven by Ten Hag that Barcelona may buckle under pressure if they receive a sizeable offer.

The Spanish giants are still under financial pressure and therefore, could be forced to consider a sale in order to balance the books and continue spending this summer.

Furthermore, Barca have been disappointed with De Jong’s lack of progress since arriving at the club for £70million in January 2019.

Having only won the Copa del Rey, there is frustration that De Jong is yet to fulfil his potential at Camp Nou.

His contract is also dwindling and with United seemingly ready to pay big bucks, it could be Barcelona’s only chance to recoup the kind of money they shelled out to Ajax over three years ago.

There is no denying United have been dealt a major blow in their pursuit of the player though following his honest comments on his future.

“I prefer to stay with Barcelona,” De Jong told ESPN.

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“Barcelona is just my dream club. Also from a young age. I just said it too. I’ve never regretted my choice despite the fact that I had hoped for more in terms of prizes than I’ve achieved so far. But I have never regretted my choice.”

Xavi has also made it clear he would prefer to keep De Jong, who he still considers to be a key part of his project.

However, the 26-year-old knows he is still being courted by his former Ajax manager Ten Hag following the pair’s unique bond in Amsterdam.

De Jong refused to clarify whether he has held private talks with Manchester United’s new manager though when quizzed on the extent of the club’s interest.

He told Dutch media: “Have I had contact with Erik ten Hag? I can’t say anything more about that. I wouldn’t do that when it comes to other clubs or trainers.”

United do have other midfield targets in mind including Kalvin Phillips, who is expected to snub the Red Devils due to his strong affiliation to Leeds.

Declan Rice is also strongly admired but West Ham’s sky-high valuation appears to have scared United off.

Lazio’s Sergej Milinkovic-Savic has also been considered ahead of the summer transfer window.

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