Man Utd target de Jong hailed by Wales boss
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Manchester United won’t be abandoning their pursuit of Frenkie de Jong because they think nobody compares to the Barcelona star, according to reports. The Netherlands international is Erik ten Hag’s top target. And though Youri Tielemans has admirers at Old Trafford, the Leicester star isn’t going to be pursued just yet.
Manchester United have gone big on De Jong this summer, with John Murtough working tirelessly to bring the Barcelona star to Old Trafford.
A fee between the two clubs has been agreed, with the Red Devils ready to pay an initial £63million to land the Netherlands international with bonuses then seeing that figure rise closer to £72m.
United have been accused of wasting their time with De Jong given his reluctance to leave the Nou Camp for Old Trafford.
Yet the Manchester Evening News say the Red Devils won’t be pulling the plug because they feel nobody compares to the former Ajax star.
Ten Hag previously managed De Jong in Amsterdam, with the pair helping the Eredivisie giants win the league title in 2019 and reach the semi-finals of the Champions League, too.
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And United are hopeful their good working relationship leads to the 25-year-old eventually making the move to the Premier League.
It’s claimed Tielemans has some admirers at the club and, with just a year left on his Leicester contract, could soon be a genuine alternative.
But United are placing all their eggs in the De Jong basket in the hope they’ll be able to finally bring the midfielder to England.
United have been here before, of course.
In 2013, they spent all summer chasing a deal for Barcelona’s Cesc Fabregas – who David Moyes believed would add a new dimension to his midfield at Old Trafford.
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United spent months trying to land the Spain international but, in the end, their pursuit failed – sparking a late move for Marouane Fellaini instead.
The Red Devils won’t want a repeat this summer with De Jong, especially given how their pursuit has been played out so publicly.
But United are continuing to be patient and are hopeful that, in the end, the months of negotiating will all be worth it.
De Jong isn’t the only signing they’re looking to make before the transfer window slams shut, either, with four other areas being targeted.
United know they need another goalkeeper to provide competition for David De Gea and Tom Heaton, particularly in the wake of Dean Henderson’s loan move to Nottingham Forest.
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At right-back, they’re hopeful of landing somebody to keep Aaron Wan-Bissaka and Diogo Dalot on their toes.
United want a senior forward to replace Edinson Cavani, who has left the club on a free transfer.
And they also want a young attacker, too, amid links to the likes of Red Bull Salzburg’s Benjamin Sesko and Ajax’s Antony.
Regarding De Jong, meanwhile, former Aston Villa star Gabriel Agbonlahor recently implored United to give the Barcelona star an ultimatum.
“It’s going to come to the stage where Man United need to have some self-respect,” Agbonlahor said.
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“A club of Man United’s stature, how have they fallen where De Jong has said ‘Let me keep you on hold and make my mind up in a couple of months’.
“That isn’t how Man United are used to being treated, usually it’s ‘I’ll sign for Man United, let’s get it done’.
“It’s a bit embarrassing for them the longer it goes on, to be honest.
“Maybe they’ve got to give him an ultimatum and say ‘There is this date. You either sign or we are moving on to other players’.”
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