Man Utd blow as Man City ‘mull’ move for £90m Ten Hag favourite as Rice alternative

Will Ford
Ten Hag wants to sign De Jong

Manchester City are reportedly considering a move for Barcelona star and long-term Manchester United target Frenkie de Jong having missed out on Declan Rice.

City looked to swoop for Rice ahead of Arsenal, offering £90m before the Gunners blew them out of the water with a £105m bid to get the deal over the line.

Pep Guardiola wants to add another new midfielder to his ranks this summer despite landing Mateo Kovacic from Chelsea after Ilkay Gundogan left for Barcelona on a free transfer.

The Sun claim Guardiola is prepared to use the £90m set aside for Rice on that new addition, and claim he’s keen on De Jong.

Guardiola tried to sign De Jong in 2019, before the Dutchman moved to Barcelona and ‘remains a fan’ of the 26-year-old.

A move to City would be a blow for Manchester United, who agreed an £80m fee with Barcelona for the midfielder last summer but failed to persuade De Jong to leave for Old Trafford.

The Dutch international, who thrived under United boss Erik ten Hag at Ajax, was again linked in January and remains on the United radar, but budgetary constraints have ruled them out of the running.

The Red Devils’ priorities are to sign a goalkeeper and a striker, though even that looks like a tall order having spent £55m of their £120m budget on Mason Mount.

They’ve offered €40m (£34m) for goalkeeper Andre Onana to replace David De Gea but Inter want €60m (£52m), and they’re looking at cheaper alternatives given that deal would leave them next to nothing to spend on a new striker.

Any further purchases this summer will rely on player sales, with Harry Maguire suddenly key to a title challenge, but according to the Manchester Evening News there are none currently in the pipeline.

They report: ‘Player sales will be reinvested into the squad and United are not short of sellable assets but they struggle for demand at their stall in the sellers’ market. There is little indication of any impending sales.’

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