Manchester United manager Erik ten Hag is still interested in signing Barcelona midfielder Frenkie de Jong, according to reports in Spain.
Ten Hag made De Jong his top transfer target when he replaced Ralf Rangnick at Old Trafford at the end of the 2021/22 campaign.
He could not tempt his former Ajax player to move to the Premier League club, however.
United reportedly had a bid – believed to be worth €75million + €10m add-ons – accepted by Barcelona but were never close to agreeing personal terms with the Dutch international.
The Red Devils’ lack of Champions League football was one problem, with De Jong also reportedly owed wage money from Barcelona.
With Ten Hag’s side back in Europe’s premier competition, the links refuse to go away, even if the Dutch manager has signed Casemiro and Sofyan Amrabat after being rejected by his former player.
De Jong seems as reluctant as he was in 2022 to make the switch and despite his importance to Xavi’s Barcelona team, you get the impression the Catalan outfit would be more than happy to cash in to relieve some of their financial stress.
While his departure is not expected to come to fruition, it has been reported by Fichajes that Ten Hag remains very interested in signing the midfielder and ‘dreams’ of making it happen next summer.
The report states that Ten Hag ‘continues to have a deep interest in signing’ De Jong and will make a ‘significant effort’ to reunite with the ex-Ajax youngster.
As touched on before, there is a belief that Barcelona could sell the player for the right price due to their ‘financial crisis’, which is making player sales a ‘necessity’.
United will make a ‘big push’ to sign De Jong next summer, though it is emphasised that he wants to stay at the Nou Camp.
Ten Hag still sees the 26-year-old as a ‘key reinforcement’ in his Red Devils midfield, it is added. This guy really can’t take a hint, can he?
Obviously, there is no way the negotiations to sign De Jong will be ‘straightforward’ as he ‘does not want to leave Barca’, while the Premier League club will have to pay a ‘significant’ fee.
De Jong has been linked with several clubs in recent transfer windows, with Manchester City one of those believed to be keen.