Maguire snubbed Barcelona swap as part of Man Utd deal for Frenkie de Jong

Date published: Sunday 24th July 2022 10:50 - Will Ford

Harry Maguire reportedly snubbed a move to Barcelona this summer as part of a deal for midfielder Frenkie de Jong.

United have now agreed a £72.2m deal with the La Liga giants for De Jong, who wants to stay at the Nou Camp, but Maguire was at one point rumoured to be involved in a swap deal for the Dutch international.

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Maguire has been heavily criticised both in the media and by the United fans in recent weeks and months, and the centre-back’s continued to be blasted on United’s preseason tour.

But a source close to Maguire told the Mirror that the England international is desperate to have a successful season at Old Trafford after turning down Barcelona’s approach.

The source said: “Some players, especially with some of the criticism flying around, would have been desperate to go if Barcelona came calling.

“But Harry is unmoved and wants to have a successful season with United. When it comes to mental strength, Harry has it in spades. As usual he will get down to doing what he does best.”

A further source said Maguire has received an unfair share of the blame for United’s poor form.

“Harry has been made the scapegoat for Manchester United’s poor displays last season,” the source said.

“Some so-called big players had far worse games than him. It seems that someone has to pay the price. The other season it was David de Gea who has been magnificent during his time at the club.”

De Jong remains the priority for Erik ten Hag and United, but despite having agreed a fee with Barcelona, the midfielder doesn’t want to leave the Catalans and wants to play Champions League football if he is forced out of the club.

De Jong has gone on pre-season tour and Barcelona’s president Joan Laporta gave an update on the deal on Saturday night.

“Frenkie de Jong is our player, we really like him,” Laporta told ESPN. “We received some offers for Frenkie but we didn’t accept as of now, as we want to talk with him and know exactly what he wants. We need to clarify some aspects of his situation”.

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