Manchester United “need to have some self-respect” and consider giving Frenkie de Jong an “ultimatum” as his proposed transfer from Barcelona continues to drag on, according to Gabriel Agbonlahor.
United have seemingly been close to securing the Dutch international for weeks, but the deal has stalled at various points over the transfer fee, De Jong’s desire to stay with the Catalans and their desire to keep him.
The latest twist in the saga is the claim that Barcelona have accepted a £72m bid from United, which left De Jong furious as he was told over the phone.
The 25-year-old is now said to be digging his heels in as he is desperate to stay with the La Liga giants.
Transfer expert Fabrizio Romano tweeted on Wednesday: ‘Frenkie De Jong’s agents Ali Dursun and Hasan Cetinkaya have informed Barcelona that Frenkie has still no intention to leave – also that Frenkie and agents are not accepting any salary reduction, or talks related to that. Man United are also informed – deal now stalling.’
Chelsea have recently been mooted as possible contenders for De Jong’s signature too with claims they could look to part-exchange Cesar Azpilicueta and Marcos Alonso for the midfielder.
Glen Johnson believes De Jong should opt for Chelsea over United and former Aston Villa striker Agbonlahor reckons United should give De Jong an “ultimatum” to avoid further embarrassment.
“It’s going to come to the stage where Man United need to have some self-respect,” Agbonlahor told Football Insider.
“A club of Man United’s stature, how have they fallen where De Jong has said ‘Let me keep you on hold and make my mind up in a couple of months’. That isn’t how Man United are used to being treated, usually it’s ‘I’ll sign for Man United, let’s get it done’.
“It’s a bit embarrassing for them the longer it goes on, to be honest. Maybe they’ve got to give him an ultimatum and say ‘There is this date. You either sign or we are moving on to other players’.”