Manchester United’s pursuit of Frenkie de Jong is currently in its thirteenth week and as it stands, there is little to suggest that a breakthrough could be arrived at in time for United’s opening match against Brighton and Hove Albion on Sunday.
The Red Devils have been chasing the signature of the Blaugrana midfielder for the better part of the current window.
While a fee and a payment structure have been agreed upon between Barcelona and United, an issue over the player’s deferred wages that he is owed by the club has made it nearly impossible for a deal to get over the line.
There are many within the fanbase who have suggested that the club hierarchy should move on from the Netherlands international, with the season starting in just under a week.
Sky Sports journalist Melissa Reddy has provided fresh updates on the De Jong saga and possible alternatives in place of the 25-year-old.
One of the names pointed out by Reddy is Wolverhampton Wanderers midfielder, Ruben Neves.
The Portuguese midfielder has been linked with a switch to Old Trafford in the past and is reportedly on Ten Hag’s list of De Jong alternatives.
“We know Frenkie de Jong has been Manchester United’s priority target, but with the deal dragging on, alternatives will come into play,” Reddy said.
“One of the names we know they have looked at and have been interested in is Ruben Neves of Wolves.”
On the Red Devils’ interest in Neves, the reporter said: “There is a long-standing interest from Manchester United because of his stylistic profile, incredible passing range, a threat in terms of goalscoring and he controls the tempo really well – all the things you want in an anchor in a progressive side.”
Wolves are said to value the Portugal international at upwards of £60m.
“They [Wolves] wouldn’t want to lose him necessarily, but Manchester United have to start considering the fact the longer the De Jong saga drags on with no resolution between him and Barcelona, what else can be done?”
— Football Daily (@footballdaily) August 2, 2022
Another name that has come to the fore as a likely candidate in place of De Jong is Renato Sanches, Reddy says.
“The other name loosely floated has been Renato Sanches, who can play as an anchor, but is better when used as a box-to-box midfielder.”
“I wouldn’t put too much stock into that name yet.”