Man Utd ‘lose battle’ for £75m De Jong partner as Ten Hag puts faith in ‘pivotal’ player

Date published: Thursday 30th June 2022 8:32 - Will Ford

Man Utd boss Erik ten Hag writes down notes

Manchester United appear to have missed out on adding Ruben Neves to their ranks this summer, with Wolves said to have won the battle to keep him at Molineux.

Neves has been linked with a move away from Wolves for some time, with United, Arsenal and Barcelona all said to have been interested.

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The 25-year-old – who joined the club from Porto for £15m five years ago – has made 212 appearances for Wolves, who slapped a £75m price tag on him this summer to ward off interest.

Reports suggest the interested parties were only willing to pay around £45m and The Sun now claim Neves has accepted that he will not be leaving this summer.

His decision may lead Erik ten Hag to look elsewhere for a partner for Frenkie de Jong, who is thought to be close to finally agreeing his switch to Old Trafford.

But a report claims the Dutch boss is an admirer of Scott McTominay, and may look to use the Scotland international alongside De Jong in his starting XI.

Newcastle are among the clubs rumoured to have been interested in a move for the United academy graduate, but Mirror claim Ten Hag sees McTominay as a ‘pivotal’ player and the club rebuffed the ‘tentative inquiries’.

Meanwhile, United are said to be close to completing a deal for Feyenoord star Tyrell Malacia.

The left-back progressed through the ranks at Feyenoord and has made 136 appearances for the Eredivisie side over the past five seasons.

The 22-year-old has played for his country at youth level and he made his debut for the senior side last year, playing five times under Louis van Gaal since.

He shone for Feyenoord last season, playing 50 times across all competitions and was named in the Team of the Tournament for the Europa Conference League.

United have been linked with the defender since early May, and despite a reported ‘full verbal agreement’ to join Lyon, the Red Devils appear to have successfully hijacked that deal.

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