Frenkie de Jong insists he is already at “the biggest club in the world” but reports suggest he is now ‘resigned to leaving Barcelona’ for Manchester United this summer.
The Dutch playmaker has consistently stated his desire to stay at the Nou Camp amid great speculation over his future.
New United boss Erik ten Hag has reportedly made the midfielder his top priority and a move to Old Trafford appears to be edging closer, as long as the Red Devils don’t have to pay ‘silly money’.
And now Sport (via Manchester Evening News) claim De Jong will reluctantly leave the Catalans, but add that he is now excited to renew his ties with former Ajax boss Ten Hag.
De Jong was instrumental in the Netherlands’ 3-2 Nations League win over Wales in Rotterdam on Tuesday, and was asked after the game if he was flattered by the interest from United.
De Jong replied: “You’re always flattered when teams show interest in you as a player.
“I am at the biggest club in the world at the moment and I feel fine there, so no news.”
He said: “Manchester United ’s pursuit of Frenkie De Jong is completely underwhelming.
“He reminds me a bit of Martin Odegaard in the way he was trumpeted as, ‘The next big thing’, before moving to Spain and then failed to reach the heights expected of him. At least Odegaard was 16 when he joined Real Madrid, not 21, as De Jong was when he moved to Barcelona.
“Don’t get me wrong, De Jong is a good player, he has all the attributes and would be a decent addition to the squad. But I ask myself if he’s someone who will take United to the next level and the answer, frankly, is, ‘No’. Actually, he reminds me of his compatriot Donny van de Beek.
“Ajax produced a full-page farewell to Van de Beek when he joined United, saying ‘Look after him’. And Edwin van der Sar, a legend at both Ajax and United, was raving about him. Yet it didn’t happen for him at Old Trafford and I’m not sure it will for De Jong.
“I know Van de Beek didn’t get the opportunities he deserved at United and De Jong will be given a chance by Erik ten Hag. But if I’m at Liverpool or Manchester City, then I’m certainly not going to be worrying that Manchester United look likely to sign Frenkie de Jong this summer.”