Erik ten Hag is keen to sign a central midfielder this summer, but Manchester United have warned Barcelona that they will not pay’silly money’ for Frenkie de Jong.
Since Ten Hag was associated with the vacant manager’s post, the Dutch international has been linked with a move to Old Trafford, and latest rumours say the pair, who excelled together at Ajax, are close to rejoining in the Premier League.
According to a source on Friday, United made an initial bid of £60 million, which was rejected by Barcelona, who believes De Jong’s true value is £75 million.
Sky Sports has revealed that the Red Devils are still looking for a central midfielder and are in negotiations with De Jong.
Despite confirming that the clubs’ valuations are significantly different, it is alleged that no official offer has been made, with United informing Barcelona that they ‘would not pay ridiculous money’.
‘There is an increasing belief from all parties that a deal can be done,’ but United will ‘concentrate on other targets if a decent price cannot be negotiated.’
Meanwhile, Stan Collymore believes United’s pursuit of De Jong is “underwhelming.”
“Manchester United’s pursuit of Frenkie De Jong is utterly uninspiring,” he remarked.
“He reminds me a little of Martin Odegaard in the way he was heralded as ‘the next big thing’ before heading to Spain and then failing to live up to expectations.” Odegaard was 16, not 21, when he joined Real Madrid, as De Jong was when he transferred to Barcelona.
“Don’t get me wrong: De Jong is a good player with all the attributes and would be a good addition to the team.” But I’m not sure he’ll take United to the next level, and the answer is, bluntly, ‘No.’ In fact, he reminds me of his countryman Donny van de Beek.
“When Van de Beek joined United, Ajax printed a full-page farewell to him, stating, ‘Look after him.'” And Edwin van der Sar, a legend at both Ajax and Manchester United, gushed about him. But it didn’t happen for him at Old Trafford, and I doubt it will happen for De Jong.
“I know Van van Beek didn’t get the opportunities he deserved at United, and Erik ten Hag will give De Jong a chance.” But if I’m at Liverpool or Manchester City, I’m not going to be concerned that Manchester United may sign Frenkie de Jong this summer.”
Manchester United have opened direct talks with Barça for Frenkie de Jong. Price tag around €85m, waiting for opening bid. 🚨 #MUFC
De Jong is still not convinced to leave Barça and he wants UCL football – Man Utd will try to push again as Barça need to solve financial issues. pic.twitter.com/jT18D37sPK
— Fabrizio Romano (@FabrizioRomano) June 1, 2022