De Jong quizzed on Man Utd transfer links
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Just as it looked as though Manchester United would finally be signing Frenkie de Jong, new developments have arisen. Reports in Catalonia say the Netherlands international has told both the Red Devils and Barcelona that he wants to stay and has no intentions of moving to Old Trafford. However, a deal doesn’t appear to be dead in the water just yet.
Manchester United have reached an agreement with Barcelona for De Jong.
The Red Devils are willing to pay an initial £56million for the 25-year-old, with John Murtough also prepared to include add-ons in the arrangement.
While Barcelona had previously been hoping to pocket a higher fee, the Catalan titans have now softened their stance.
Yet Sport have claimed De Jong has told both the La Liga giants and United that, at the current moment in time, he doesn’t intend to leave the Nou Camp behind.
So, with the player appearing to have doubts about a move to United, Express Sport will now take a look at four ways the Red Devils can convince the Netherlands international into moving to the Premier League this summer.
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Whether that’s a popular claim or not, United can potentially persuade De Jong by throwing even more cash at the Barcelona star.
At present, he’s poised to pocket around £250,000 a week at Old Trafford – putting him among the club’s highest-earners.
But De Jong earns more than that at Barcelona and his contract in Catalonia still has four years left to run.
United are one of the richest clubs in the world and, with De Jong their top target, giving him an even bigger salary shouldn’t be too much of a problem.
That said, if they go too high, it’s hard to see Cristiano Ronaldo being too happy.
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Barcelona don’t need him
De Jong, on his day, is one of the best players in the world.
But his time at Barcelona has been infuriating, with the midfielder blowing hot and cold under Ernesto Valverde, Quique Setien, Ronald Koeman and Xavi.
Barcelona don’t need, nor do they want De Jong any longer. He’s seen as their best chance to raise funds as they look to balance their finances.
They’ve got Pedri and Gavi as hopes for the future, while veteran Sergio Busquets continues to age like a fine wine.
United can, therefore, play into the fact Barcelona don’t want De Jong in order to persuade the midfielder he’ll get a more prominent role in English football instead.
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At Barcelona, De Jong has always been overshadowed.
He arrived in the same time as Antoine Griezmann, who was seen as the player to take the Catalan titans to the next level in 2019.
And De Jong has often struggled to grab the spotlight over the likes of Lionel Messi, Luis Suarez, Ansu Fati and countless others throughout his three years at the club.
At United, however, they can offer him superstar status.
Barring Cristiano Ronaldo, and potentially Bruno Fernandes and Jadon Sancho, the Red Devils don’t have too many of them these days. Enter De Jong…
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The Ten Hag factor
The best football of De Jong’s career has come during his time at Ajax.
That was when Ten Hag was manager – so United would be wise to stress that even more than before during talks with the player.
De Jong, under the 52-year-old, became one of the best midfielders in world football – despite playing in a team that weren’t regarded as favourites for the Champions League.
United can use the midfielder’s close relationship with Ten Hag to their advantage.
If he moves to Old Trafford, then he could rediscover his mojo. Something that’s particularly important with the World Cup in Qatar creeping increasingly closer.
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