Manchester United’s hopes of securing the Frenkie de Jong transfer look to be officially over after a damning report listed 10 reasons why he has no interest in leaving Barcelona for Old Trafford.
United manager Erik ten Hag has honed in on De Jong as he looks to bring in a new player. The position is seen as a major area of weakness for the Red Devils, with the side often losing control of games there last season. As such, Ten Hag has made the addition of his former protege his major focus of the summer.
Furthermore, the losses of Paul Pogba, Nemanja Matic, Jesse Lingard and Juan Mata further weaken the position at Old Trafford.
To that end, United have pursued the deal ever since Ten Hag took charge at Old Trafford. However, the deal has been far from easy, providing one of the most complex to negotiate in living memory.
For weeks, United haggled over a fee. Knowing Barcelona are crippled by enormous debts, there was a belief United could land the star on the cheap.
The LaLiga giants, while willing to sell, were though in no mood to negotiate on his fee. Ultimately, United agreed to meet the price required to sign him, believed to be for an initial £55.9m (€65m).
That, though, has only been half the battle with De Jong himself seemingly hesitant over the prospective transfer. Indeed, it emerged at the back end of June that De Jong had made clear his intentions to stay at Barcelona.
Despite that, Barca’s crippling financial situation – together with the amount of cash they owe De Jong – saw hope remain.
Ten reasons why Frenkie de Jong transfer is off
And even in light of apparent interest from Chelsea, United continued to pursue the deal.
However, reports on Saturday claim De Jong has now decided his future will remain at Barcelona.
And with United’s seemingly hopes on the wane, a report has detailed a devastating knockout blow that surely ends their hopes once and for all.
With the player due to report to pre-season training on Monday, Sport has listed the 10 reasons why De Jong has pushed against United’s advances this summer with his mind now firmly made up.
Firstly, they claim De Jong has recently bought a new house in Pedralbes. The area is in the most sought-after areas of the city and his huge investment in the property shows he’s planning for a long-term stay at the club.
Secondly, De Jong’s girlfriend, Mikky Kiemeney, is extremely happy in the city. She loves life in Barcelona and is fully ensconced in all the city has to offer. By moving away, De Jong knows he will be upsetting his partner.
Thirdly, they state De Jong still sees Barcelona as his dream club. Since a boy, he has dreamed of following Dutch icons Johan Cruyff, Ronald Koeman and Frank Rijkaard to the club. In contrast, he has never held aspirations of playing for United.
Next, and perhaps most significantly, the lack of Champions League football at Old Trafford also hugely bothers De Jong. He wants to be regarded as one of the bests in the world. And to do so he needs Champions League, not Europa League football.
Man Utd are jinxed
Somewhat cruelly, the report claims ‘United are jinxed’ as their fifth reason for his snub. Despite their vast sums invested on players, moreso since Sir Alex Ferguson’s departure, the club has struggled to maintain high standards. As such, he feels a move could see his career suffer similarly decline.
To that end, Gary Neville said something similar, labeling Old Trafford a ‘graveyard’ for top players.
The Manchester weather has also been suggested as a factor before and Sport again cites that as reason number six for De Jong’s snub.
Sport also claims De Jong remains convinced he can deliver for Barcelona. His form has not been quite at the levels expected since his move from Ajax in 2019.
However, in Xavi he believes he has a coach who can get the best out of him. As such, the man is reportedly determined to prove his worth.
The Barcelona salary is also cited as reason No 8 for De Jong wishing to stay. He earns a handsome wage at Barca, and while they want him to take a salary reduction to stay, he appears more than happy to do so.
De Jong is not going anywhere
Frenkie De Jong has been heavily linked with a move to Manchester United for months but Barca president Joan Laporte has said he is not for sale.
De Jong is also unhappy at the agenda seemingly aimed at pushing him towards Manchester United. They claim he is hurt that no one at Barca has ever spoken to him about their efforts to sell him. As such, he plans to push against that and prove them wrong.
And finally, De Jong is unhappy at the way negotiations taken between Barca and United have place behind his back. They claim he or his agent are still to hear anything official from United or on their plans for him.
As a result, Sport is convinced that United’s prospects of signing Frenkie De Jong are over.
Meanwhile, Lisandro Martinez is looking to take actions into his own hands as his move to Old Trafford takes a dramatic twist.