De Jong quizzed on Man Utd transfer links in June
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Manchester United’s board are prioritising Frenkie de Jong and a new forward late in the summer transfer window after holding a summit, according to reports. Many thought the Red Devils’ pursuit of the Barcelona star was over in the wake of their decision to land Casemiro from Real Madrid. However, that doesn’t appear to be the case.
Manchester United have spent over a quarter of a year chasing a deal for De Jong, who was swiftly identified as Ten Hag’s top transfer target at Old Trafford.
With their pursuit of the 25-year-old yet to pay off, however, the Red Devils have brought in Casemiro – with the Brazil international unveiled prior to their 2-1 win over Liverpool.
According to Mundo Deportivo, however, United are still trying to sign De Jong.
It’s claimed that, recently, the Red Devils board held talks behind the scenes and decided they want both the Barcelona star and a new forward.
De Jong previously played under Ten Hag at Ajax, with the duo helping the Eredivisie outfit reach the semi-finals of the Champions League three years ago.
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And United won’t throw in the towel when it comes to the 25-year-old, such is their determination to bring him in.
Bayern Munich are a potential obstacle when it comes to their chances of striking a deal, though.
The Bundesliga giants want to take De Jong on loan until the end of the campaign before then signing the Netherlands international permanently.
The two clubs have already negotiated this summer for Robert Lewandowski, who left the Allianz Arena for the Nou Camp after eight glittering years in Germany.
And whether United are able to convince the 25-year-old his future lies at Old Trafford remains to be seen.
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When it comes to the Red Devils strengthening their attack, several players have been linked in recent weeks.
Danny Welbeck and Jamie Vardy were previously discussed as potential options, though the duo have since signed new contracts at Brighton and Leicester respectively.
Cody Gakpo is a target, however, having scored 12 goals and registered 12 assists for PSV Eindhoven in the Eredivisie last term.
But United’s main target seems to be Antony.
Like De Jong, the Brazil international played under Ten Hag at Ajax – and the Dutchman is understood to be keen on a reunion with the 22-year-old.
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Ajax are, however, demanding a fee close to £80million to let their prized asset go – having already lost the likes of Lisandro Martinez, Ryan Gravenberch and Sebastien Haller.
It’ll be interesting to see if United go that high for the forward, who is eager to make the move to Old Trafford.
But if they are able to bring in De Jong and Antony before the transfer window slams shut, hopes of an improved campaign will rise.
Speaking after his United side beat Liverpool 2-1 on Monday night, meanwhile, Ten Hag suggested he was still looking for players to enforce his squad.
“You can never tell,” said Ten Hag when quizzed on the prospect of more players arriving.
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“We said from the beginning we wanted to bring the right players in and not just any players.
“I think now we have the right player [in new signing Casemiro], I’m sure of that.
“The window is not closed. You need numbers but not only numbers, you need quality.
“I gave so much and I think when you bring it on the pitch you will get stronger, physically [and] mentally. If you bring it every three days you need numbers and quality numbers.”
United are next in action against Southampton on Saturday (12.30pm).
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