Manchester United have not given up on signing Frenkie de Jong and will try again to get his signature.
United and Erik ten Hag spent a large part of the summer chasing the Dutchman, but a move proved elusive.
De Jong showed little to no appetite in an Old Trafford reunion with his former Ajax boss. This, compounded with a dispute over his deferred wages that he is owed by the Blaugrana, rendered a move impossible.
Since then, it has widely been reported that the Red Devils had moved on and set their sights on alternative targets such as Enzo Fernandez and Jude Bellingham.
However, as per the reliable Andy Mitten, the 20-time English champions are set to reignite their pursuit of the Barça man.
Mitten reports, “Erik ten Hag is a big admirer of both players [De Jong and Bellingham] and the United manager wants to continue bringing world-class players to Old Trafford as he seeks to restore their status as an elite club.
“He [Ten Hag] considers De Jong to be a world-class talent and has the right type of character to fit in United’s side.”
Mitten’s report is supported by the BBC’s Simon Stone, who relays, “Erik ten Hag is still very much interested in signing Frenkie de Jong and wants to revisit the situation in the summer.”
The Manchester Evening News> reporter Samuel Luckhurst adds that the 25-year-old, despite his public declarations of wanting to stay in Spain, privately gave Ten Hag assurances that he was willing to be a part of his United rebuild.
✅ Frenkie De Jong privately gave Erik ten Hag assurances he was happy to join United, despite publicly stressing his preference was to stay at Barcelona. @samuelluckhurst
— UtdPlug (@UtdPlug) December 17, 2022
Initially starting on the bench for the Catalonia club this season after a disastrous summer spell, De Jong has clawed his way back to Xavi’s starting XI, where he plays alongside Pedri and Gavi.
The Barça boss has insisted many times that he’s a fan of the Netherlands international and views him as an important player in his plans.
De Jong is likely to be in the Barça team that faces United in the Europa League in February, giving fans the opportunity to see just why Ten Hag rates him so highly.