Manchester United still hold hope of signing Barcelona midfielder Frenkie de Jong.
The Express report that United haven’t given up on their priority transfer target, with just a day of the window remaining.
However, given United’s spend and the deadline fast approaching, any deal would come as a major surprise at this stage.
After months of chasing the Dutchman, United are not prepared to walk away from the deal and are willing to wait until January or next summer to sign the midfielder, if a deal cannot be done today.
De Jong was Ten Hag’s number one transfer target this summer but negotiations have proven fruitless with Barcelona, who look like they have, somehow, managed to keep hold of the 25 year-old.
The Spanish club still owe De Jong €17m in deferred wages, with the player holding out for payment before he makes any move.
Barcelona have also told De Jong he will need to take a salary cut if he is to stay at the club – there is no confirmation that this has, or hasn’t, been agreed.
The treatment of De Jong has surely left a sour taste in his mouth, making a move away from the Camp Nou a very likely scenario, once the monetary issues are sorted out.
United have found their De Jong alternative in the window – the signing of Casemiro from Real Madrid will plug the gap Ten Hag wanted to fill at the base of his midfield.
However, there is no doubt the manager would still welcome the signing of De Jong, even twelve months later than planned.
The Dutch international possesses all the qualities Ten Hag wants in a midfielder and having worked together so well at Ajax, a reunion at Old Trafford appears a plausible possibility.
11pm tonight will mark the end of a chaotic transfer window for United, having finally got players in through the door. The squad is in a much better place than feared a few weeks ago.
United travel to Leicester this evening, hoping to continue the good form they have shown in their last two outings.
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