Barcelona star Frenkie de Jong has reportedly decided to reject an offer of moving to the Premier League and joining Manchester United.
The Netherlands manager has been Erik ten Ha’s top transfer target ever since he took on the role to become United’s latest. However, it looks like he faces major disappointment in his chase for De Jong.
The Red Devils are in need of new midfield recruits after Paul Pogba and Nemanja Matic were allowed to join Juventus and Roma respectively on free transfers.
And despite Ten Hag trying to lure De Jong to Old Trafford, Mundo Deportivo states the 25-year-old has rejected the switch.
The news will come as a hammer blow to Ten Hag and United who will be forced to look elsewhere.
De Jong’s decision will also have an impact on Chelsea’s hopes of signing the player.
The Blues emerged as surprise rival contenders to United for De Jong in a move that ‘took the player and his entourage by surprise‘.
However, they have not yet made contact over any kind of deal and are now unlikely to do so.
De Jong has reasons to stay put
The report adds that De Jong is very happy at Barca, especially after he recently got engaged to long-term partner Mikky Kiemeney.
The duo also look set to open a business’ in Pedralbes, Catalonia, which gives the Dutchman even more reason to stay.
There could still be a twist in the tale, however, and it concerns Barca’s financial woes.
De Jong and his camp are aware that the LaLiga giants want to reduce his salary to help balance the books.
However, if their figure drops well below what De Jong is willing to accept then an exit could still happen.
Salary will not be an issue in any way for both United and Chelsea, especially given the Premier League riches on offer.
Even so, the likelihood is that De Jong will start the season in Barcelona colours. And that news is sure to annoy Ten Hag especially as he wanted to shape his engine room around the player.
Ten Hag promises proactive Man Utd team
Meanwhile, Erik ten Hag has promised a “proactive style of football” after setting off on Manchester United’s pre-season tour and insisted there is “energy” in the team.
The Dutch boss does have some notable absentees from the 31-man traveling party to Asia and Australia. Cristiano Ronaldo heads the list of players who did not travel after missing the start of pre-season training this week.
Phil Jones also set to miss the tour in favor of following a specialist pre-season programme. While Brandon Williams missed out due to a ‘small issue’ and Andreas Pereira also stayed in Manchester while talking of a move to Fulham.
Ten Hag though, despite being on the look out for another forward, is intent on getting to know his current players on tour. He has also hinted as to the style of play his Manchester United side will employ this season.
“I have to learn, to know my squad, the personnel, the individuals, the players,” Ten Hag told MUTV, via the Manchester Evening News.
“That is, I think, one of the biggest advantages from the tour. We have two weeks to work really close together and we will learn about each other. Because I want to learn about them and they want to learn about me, my coaches and assistants.
“We want to play a proactive style of football. On the ball and off the ball.
“Trying to do that has to be our intention. The coaches bring it over to the team that we are, in every situation, proactive.”
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