Manchester United have suffered a setback in their pursuit of Barcelona’s Frenkie de Jong, with the midfielder telling ESPN he would prefer to stay at the Camp Nou.
United’s new boss, Erik ten Hag, is keen to be relegated to the Dutch international squad as part of the rebuilding of Old Trafford, with the duo having enjoyed success during their time at Ajax together. However, De Jong said he is eager to fight for his place with the Spanish giants.
Insider Notebook: Ten Hag advances in pursuit of De Jong
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“I’d rather stay with Barcelona,” De Jong told ESPN on Tuesday.
“Barcelona is just my dream club. Also from a young age. I said it too. I never regretted being chosen even though I hoped for more trophies than I have achieved so far. I never regretted being chosen.”
De Jong won the Dutch title and reached the Champions League semi-finals under Ten Hag at Ajax before moving to Barcelona in 2019, but suffered a difficult early period at the club. Barcelona finished second in the league by a large margin this season behind arch-rivals Real Madrid, who also won the Champions League title, while Xavi’s team lost to Eintracht Frankfurt in the European League quarter-finals.
Sources have told ESPN that Tin Hag wants to test Barcelona’s resolve this summer with a bid for De Jong, despite his desire to stay at the Camp Nou.
Barcelona may get rid of De Jong as the club continues to struggle with financial difficulties. Their spending limit has been reduced to minus – €144m by LaLiga – the league’s only negative cap – and they can only spend 25% of any savings on wages or transfer fees until they work within their limits.
De Jong, who is valued at around €75m, is one of Barcelona’s most valuable assets, but the 26-year-old said there has been no connection with Ten Hag or United.
“What I’m saying is there is absolutely no agreement or anything official. At the moment there is absolutely no doubt about that,” he added.
“That’s not what I know anyway. Or they must have not told me, but I don’t think so.”
Meanwhile, United have appointed Andy Opwell as their new Deputy Director of Football. O’Boyle previously served as Head of Elite Performance.
“I am delighted to be back at Manchester United at such an exciting time for the club, as the first team prepares for a fresh start under Eric ten Hag and the academy and women’s teams go from strength to strength,” said O’Boyle. a permit.