Man Utd warn Barcelona they will walk away from De Jong transfer over ‘silly money’

Date published: Tuesday 14th June 2022 2:06 - Will Ford

Reported Manchester United target Frenkie De Jong taking pictures with fans

Erik ten Hag wants to sign a central midfielder as a priority this summer but Manchester United have warned Barcelona they ‘will not pay silly money’ for Frenkie de Jong.

The Dutch international has been linked with a move to Old Trafford ever since Ten Hag was linked with the vacant manager’s role and reports in recent days suggest the pair, who thrived together at Ajax, are close to reuniting in the Premier League.

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A report on Friday claimed United had made an initial offer of £60m which was rebuffed by Barcelona, who want De Jong’s true value, which they believe to be £75m.

Sky Sports have confirmed that a central midfielder remains the priority for the Red Devils and that they are in talks over a move for De Jong.

But despite confirming the clubs are some way apart in their valuations, it’s claimed there has been no official offer yet, with United informing Barcelona that they ‘will not pay silly money’.

‘There is a growing belief from all parties a deal can be done’ but United ‘will focus on other targets if they cannot negotiate a reasonable price’.

Meanwhile, Stan Collymore reckons United’s move for De Jong is “underwhelming”.

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.”

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