Manchester United are keeping the ‘door open’ for two midfielders who have no interest in going through it…
MAN UTD ‘DOOR OPEN’ FOR MIDFIELD PAIR
Apparently, the ‘door has not been closed’ by Manchester United in their pursuit of Frenkie De Jong and Jude Bellingham.
That’s according to the Manchester Evening News, who don’t seem particularly bothered by the fact that neither De Jong or Bellingham are anywhere to be seen beyond that open door. They have no interest in going through it to join Manchester United.
De Jong’s dislike of United was made abundantly clear in the summer, when he did everything possible to avoid a move to Old Trafford, and he doubled (or tripled, or quadrupled) down on his desire to stay at Barcelona during the World Cup.
“I am very happy in Barcelona,” De Jong told De Telegraaf. “When I play, it’s great, and in terms of living there, life is perfect. I see myself at Barcelona for as long as possible. I would personally hope for another eight or 10 years.”
And the door to Bellingham was closed in Sir Alex Ferguson’s face after the legendary coach showed the midfielder around the crumbling facilities while the teenager was at Birmingham, only for him to opt for Borussia Dortmund.
But Ten Hag has reportedly been ‘blown away’ by Bellingham having watched him intently at the World Cup, and has ‘instructed United to join the race’ for the 19-year-old, ‘telling confidants that if he could sign any player in the world it would be Bellingham’.
Unfortunately for Ten Hag, this isn’t football manager…
Liverpool is the more likely landing spot for Bellingham, and according to Mirror they’re pretty confident on Merseyside of signing the £130m star.
That’s in a large part due to captain and tapping up agent Jordan Henderson, who appears to have been Bellingham’s shadow in Qatar, along with Liverpool teammate Trent Alexander-Arnold.
The Reds pair have been quick to dismiss what looks to have been pretty obvious attempts to persuade Bellingham to move Anfield, claiming they’re just good pals, but whatever they’ve done (or not) appears to have done the trick.
Liverpool are now in pole position to land Bellingham ahead of Real Madrid, who have recently splashed £60m on Brazil star Endrick and may not have the funds for the England international, particularly given the work being done to improve the Bernabeu.
PULISIC ‘ABSOLUTELY BACK’
Christian Pulisic impressed for the USA at the World Cup, starting more games in Qatar than he has for Chelsea under Thomas Tuchel and Graham Potter this season.
He was linked with a move away from Stamford Bridge over the summer and those rumours ramped up over the World Cup, with Manchester United thought to be keen on providing relief for the forward, who’s not been enjoying his time in west London of late.
Newcastle, AC Milan and Juventus are also said to be keen and the 24-year-old refused to rule out a move on compatriot Tim Ream’s podcast ‘Indirect’.
“Right now, I’m absolutely back at Chelsea and focused and that’s where my mind is at,” he said on the podcast.
“Ready to finish the season. But you know how things work in football, things change. Anything can happen.
“Things change quickly, for sure. We all know it. At the moment, I’m just pushing myself in training and working at Chelsea because that’s where I am right now.”
He really doesn’t want to be there, does he?