After it seemed as if Manchester United’s pursuit of Barcelona’s Frenkie de Jong had failed, new hope seems to be growing.
Over the weekend, Catalan outfit Sport reported that United were “100% confident” of landing De Jong this summer, despite hundreds of reports having claimed that he wants to either stay at Barcelona or go to Chelsea.
Sport also conceded that the London club had cooled their interest, leaving United back in the box seat.
And late yesterday, TalkSport’s Alex Crook (via @UtdJournal) offered United fans another positive message, saying “I’ve heard Frenkie de Jong will be a Manchester United player by the Liverpool game.”
🗣 — @alex_crook:
— United Journal (@theutdjournal) August 14, 2022
Signing the club’s top transfer target would be the perfect antidote to a miserable start to the season that has left the Red Devils bottom of the Premier League after Erik ten Hag’s first two games in charge.
The 25 year old is still refusing to leave the Blaugrana until they pay the €17 million they owe him in deferred wages after he took a pay cut to help them through the Covid 19 crisis.
The club is refusing to pay it and are also demanding that he takes a 40% pay cut to stay at the Camp Nou.
De Jong reminded everyone why he is such hot property on Saturday, coming off the bench to put in a commanding performance against Rayo Vallecano in Barça’s opening game of the season.
Whilst it wasn’t enough to win the three points, he changed the course of the game and was praised for his performance by the likes of ESPN and Mundo Deportivo.
“In just 30 minutes, De Jong managed to break the rival’s lines, revolutionized the game and, despite the fact that the team was not enough, the Dutchman showed that he wants to agree with Xavi when he affirms that ‘for me he is an important player’,” Mundo says.
“He wasn’t at his best in his first three years but Frenkie doesn’t give up and wants to fight.”
In pre-season De Jong had been deployed as a centre back by coach Xavi in what appeared to be an effort to tell the player he would not be considered for midfield duties again at the Camp Nou.