Erik ten Hag, manager of Manchester United, is determined to sign Frenkie de Jong from Barcelona before the transfer window closes.
According to sources, Manchester United manager Erik ten Hag is “not as satisfied as he could be” because the club has failed to sign more of his transfer targets. So far this summer, the Red Devils have signed Tyrell Malacia, Christian Eriksen, and Lisandro Martinez. They’re also interested in Frenkie de Jong of Barcelona and Benjamin Sesko of Red Bull Salzburg.
Ralf Rangnick stated at the close of last season that Manchester United needed as many as eight new faces to compete for the Premier League crown with the likes of Liverpool and Manchester City.
However, Ten Hag has only received three so far.
Malacia was the first to come, having moved from Feyenoord, while Eriksen and Martinez followed from Brentford and Ajax, respectively.
According to the Independent, Ten Hag is dissatisfied with United’s board and believes they should have landed more of his targets by now.
De Jong is one player the 52-year-old is anxious to sign, having previously managed his Ajax teammate.
The pair are thought to have had a positive friendship while helping Ajax win the Eredivisie title and reach the Champions League semi-finals against all odds in 2019.
De Jong’s best football came under Ten Hag after he blew hot and cold under Xavi, Ronald Koeman, Quique Setien, and Ernesto Valverde during his time at Barcelona.
And United manager Sir Alex Ferguson believes the Dutch international’s comprehension of his system will ‘instantly accelerate the team’s growth.
The Red Devils’ board has been working on this transaction for nearly three months.
Despite agreeing to a £63 million agreement with Barcelona for their finest asset, they have yet to sign De Jong.
According to reports in Catalan media, the midfielder has no desire to reconnect with Ten Hag at Old Trafford.
However, one club critic has stated that ‘not even the old United would spend so much time pursuing a player who doesn’t want to join,’ with De Jong communicating to Ten Hag throughout.
Concerning Sesko, it has been suggested that a deal for the Red Bull Salzburg adolescent is not as ‘difficult’ as some have believed.
According to the Austrian, they are “quite used to selling and generally just establish a price.”
Despite the fact that the 19-year-old has emerged as a target given Cristiano Ronaldo’s uncertain future, United has yet to ‘go for it.’
Regarding Ronaldo, Ten Hag has revealed that the Portugal international’s absence from their pre-season trip this summer was due to family obligations.
But he’s also ‘irritated’ by how it’s played out in public, with Ronaldo firmly in the spotlight despite his wish to go.
Meanwhile, former United player Gary Neville believes the club has a lot riding on a deal for Barcelona midfielder De Jong.
“There’s a lot going on with the De Jong deal,” the Sky Sports analyst stated during a Q&A session.
“On the whole. Not only for the team but also for the club, the new operation, in order to close a transaction.
“There are three possibilities. One is that they get him; they appear wise, patient, and as though they waited their turn and got the bargain they want.
“Alternatively, he may remain in Barcelona.” This, considering the manager’s relationship with the player, I believe could be slightly embarrassing.
“Or, in the worst-case scenario, he doesn’t simply leave Barcelona; he goes to Chelsea, a Premier League competitor.”
“That would be a disaster for United’s recruitment department.”
“I believe that will generate issues in the coming weeks.”
“At the moment, it could be in two or three weeks that Ronaldo calms down and says he’s staying, the football they’ve played in pre-season has been fantastic, they might get De Jong across the line, and all of a sudden you’re thinking: oh wow, it could be United.”