June 22, 2022

Manchester United involved in ‘poker’ match with Barcelona over Frenkie De Jong – report

The arrival of Erik Ten Hag at Manchester United as their new manager has brought a sense of optimism to the club after a dreadful campaign last season. United have failed to secure a Champions League spot for the upcoming season after failing to clinch a top four spot in what has been a disappointing campaign for the Red Devils. United are now looking to strengthen their squad ahead of the new season and the midfielder remains one of the club’s concerns.

United sacked Ole Gunnar Solskjaer as manager midway through his campaign last season before appointing Ralf Rangnick to an interim role. However, the German failed to change his fortunes as United ended up missing out on a top four spot to finish a lowly sixth.

However, United are determined to move on from the horrors of last season and focus on bringing in reinforcements ahead of the new season. Dutch midfielder Frenkie de Jong became United’s top target this summer and the club have been involved in negotiations with FC Barcelona for some time now.

The Barcelona star was reportedly initially reluctant to move but has now agreed to move to Old Trafford from Camp Nou. However, Barcelona and Manchester United have yet to agree on the Dutch midfielder’s final fee and remain around €10-15m apart in their valuation, according to a report in Athleticism.

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The report further claims that Manchester United are involved in a ‘poker’ game with FC Barcelona over the signing of De Jong, who is clearly wanted by Ten Hag. However, he remains optimistic that the move will eventually happen. According to the report, well-placed sources at United believe De Jong’s move to England will finally happen this summer.

However, new United boss Ten Hag is said to be growing increasingly frustrated with the club’s inefficiency in completing the deal as they are only weeks away from the start of pre-season. Ten Hag is aware of United’s budget constraints but wants De Jong to be part of pre-season in order to execute his plans ahead of the new season.

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Besides De Jong, United have been linked with a number of other midfielders, including Denmark’s Christian Eriksen, who is currently a free agent. United are also looking to strengthen their defense and attack after dropping a number of players this summer in the form of Paul Pogba, Nemanja Matic, Jesse Lingard and Juan Mata, among others.