De Jong quizzed on Man Utd transfer links
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Barcelona star Frenkie de Jong has told Erik ten Hag he doesn’t want to join Manchester United, according to a new report. The Red Devils have spent all summer long chasing the Netherlands international. Yet it appears they have their work cut out when it comes to bringing the 25-year-old to Old Trafford.
Manchester United are willing to pay an initial £63million for De Jong, a fee that would make him their third most-expensive signing of all time behind the likes of Paul Pogba, Harry Maguire, Romelu Lukaku and Jadon Sancho.
But a deal for the midfielder remains tricky.
And Sport have claimed De Jong is so eager to stay at Barcelona he’s even told Ten Hag directly that he won’t be moving to Old Trafford.
Ten Hag, upon taking over from Ralf Rangnick, quickly identified his former Ajax midfielder as his most-important target.
Yet it seems like United will be forced into looking at alternatives.
De Jong is, however, reluctant to take a pay cut at Barcelona amid suggestions they’re looking to cut his current salary in half.
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He and his agent think the La Liga giants are being unreasonable due to the fact they already owe him between £14m and £17m in deferred wages.
At the start of the coronavirus pandemic in March 2020, De Jong – like his team-mates – agreed to take a temporary pay cut to help his club and their financial situation.
And he feels he’s now entitled to his wages, though Barcelona are reluctant to cough up the cash – much to his dismay.
De Jong is also frustrated due to the fact Barcelona have been spending money to strengthen the squad at a time where they’re in his debt.
Andreas Christensen and Franck Kessie will earn good money in Catalonia after arriving on free transfers from Chelsea and AC Milan respectively.
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And Joan Laporta has also sanctioned big deals for Raphinha and Robert Lewandowski, who have arrived from Leeds and Bayern Munich.
If De Jong refuses to compromise, the report says Barcelona will ‘open the doors wide for him by promoting a transfer.
However, it is claimed the midfielder himself has the upper hand at the current moment in time.
It’s claimed that with De Jong unwilling to join United, Chelsea have emerged as potential suitors for the 25-year-old.
They’re yet to submit an official offer, though have made it clear they won’t match what United are currently ready to pay.
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If Barcelona lower their demands, however, there’s still a possibility the Netherlands international will make the move to west London.
And, speaking recently, former Aston Villa star Gabriel Agbonlahor expressed a belief De Jong would be better off joining Chelsea instead of United.
He said on talkSPORT: “I’ve been talking about Manchester United not being as much of a pull for a while now and their fans don’t like it. They can’t handle the straight facts.
“De Jong, if he’s leaving Barcelona, he does not want to go to Manchester United. There are quotes that have come out that he would rather Bayern Munich, he would rather Chelsea.
“Because if I’m choosing a team in the Premier League and I’ve got the chance of Chelsea or Manchester United, I’m choosing Chelsea.
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“I’m in London, I’ve got Thomas Tuchel who’s won the Champions League recently, you’re playing Champions League football this season, you’ve got a better squad of players.
“Manchester United have got [Cristiano] Ronaldo who doesn’t want to be there, he’s not turned up for pre-season.
“You’ve got players that aren’t performing. You’ve lost top players like [Paul] Pogba.
“They’ve got problems and it’s going to take them a while to get a chance of winning the Premier League or the Champions League.
“Does De Jong want to go from Barcelona, who will be playing Champions League football, to Manchester United, who aren’t going to be?”
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