Neville outlines ‘three outcomes’ to De Jong saga with potential ‘horrific’ consequences for Man Utd

Joe Williams
Man Utd legend Gary Neville speaks to Kelly Cates

Gary Neville says Man Utd losing out on Barcelona midfielder Frenkie de Jong to Chelsea “does not even contemplate thinking about”.

This is one transfer saga most people want to see resolved as quickly as possible with De Jong hogging way too many column inches this summer.

De Jong is still negotiating his future at Barcelona with the Netherlands international refusing to leave until the Catalan giants have paid him £17m of deferred wages and bonuses from the height of the Covid-19 pandemic.

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Barcelona want him to stay if he takes a huge pay cut, while both Man Utd and Chelsea are prepared to pay €85m to bring him to the Premier League this summer.

But Neville thinks it would be “embarrassing” for Man Utd if Chelsea beat them to De Jong after pursuing the midfielder for well over two months.

Neville told Football Daily: “If they [United] don’t get him [De Jong], it’s embarrassing but if he goes to Chelsea, it’s horrific,” Neville told Football Daily.

“If he doesn’t want to come the deal would have been switched off a few weeks ago. Because of the relationship the player has with the manager, there must be some communication between them that’s saying, ‘wait for me I’m coming’.

“There are three outcomes. One, he comes and Man United look smart and patient.

“The second is that he stays at Barca and there’s a bit of embarrassment because they’ve put all their eggs in one basket, and they haven’t got anyone else in. They’ve got a void in the squad, they’re starting the season with Fred and McTominay, and it makes them look like they can’t get a deal over the line.

“The third one does not even contemplate thinking about – he goes to a rival club in the Premier League against the manager who he’d worked under for the previous few years.”

Not only are Man Utd suffering in the transfer market at the moment, they also lost their first Premier League match of the season to Brighton at the weekend.

And Neville was far from impressed by what he saw. Speaking earlier this week, he said: “They are the easiest team to play against in the league – that’s a massive worry. The openness of them is unbelievable.

“It will have been a shock to him [Ten Hag] after a promising pre-season.

“But anyone who has watched those Manchester United players he has been handed will recognise that is a familiar performance and the people above him should have known that was an unacceptable situation to hand Erik ten Hag that squad.

“It needed improving more than it has been. There is still time in the window but he needed three or four weeks more to work with them.

“Every coach comes in thinking they can do better than the last coach with the players at his disposal as they believe they are a better coach and that is probably the case with this. But the reality is, he’s seen what those players are capable of today.”