Frenkie de Jong delivers new Man Utd transfer response after admitting something has changed at Barcelona

·3-min read
Barcelona midfielder Frenkie de Jong Credit: Alamy
Barcelona midfielder Frenkie de Jong Credit: Alamy

Long-term Manchester United target Frenkie de Jong has responded to a fresh question directly about the prospect of joining the Premier League side.

De Jong has been linked with Man Utd for practically the entire duration of the Erik ten Hag era. United’s current manager previously worked with the Dutch midfielder at Ajax. Since then, both have progressed to bigger and better things.

Ten Hag has made a good impression at Man Utd, recently winning their first trophy since 2017. Meanwhile, De Jong has been starring for Barcelona since he joined them from Ajax in 2019.

Last summer, there was plenty of speculation that De Jong could reunite with Ten Hag in Manchester. It seemed a logical move, given Barcelona’s financial difficulties and United’s need to strengthen in midfield.

Ultimately, though, a deal could not be done. It was too hard to prise De Jong away from Barcelona, since the player was content there. Eventually, Man Utd looked elsewhere in La Liga and bought Casemiro from Real Madrid instead.

But some of Casemiro’s recent absences – as well as Christian Eriksen being unavailable – have exposed where Man Utd might need to reinforce further in their midfield. Hence, the idea of them going back in for De Jong has not faded.

After Barcelona’s win over Real Madrid in El Clasico on Sunday, though, De Jong cast doubt on the chances of him moving to Man Utd next.

When asked about that potential transfer, he told Ziggo Sport: “No, I don’t think I’m going to make that step.

“You never know, of course, but at the moment I am very happy at Barcelona.”

Frenkie de Jong describes Barcelona change

De Jong is under contract at Camp Nou until 2026. Had things panned out differently, he could have been at Old Trafford by now, but Man Utd have not had their way.

The 25-year-old also highlighted how his situation at Barcelona has changed – for the better – since the summer in which he could have left.

De Jong explained: “In recent months I have been given a lot of freedom by the coach to get the ball and find my own spaces.

“From the summer to now a lot has changed, it is a lot better now.

“It gives a lot of satisfaction to be able to play like this. I play almost every game and I am very happy here.”

Overall in his Barcelona career, the Netherlands international has played in 174 matches. During that time, there have been 15 goals and 19 assists of his making.

This season, in which De Jong has played 34 times, Barcelona are aiming to win La Liga. After beating defending champions Real Madrid, they have a 12-point cushion at the top of the table with the same number of games remaining on the calendar.

Therefore, it is clear to see why De Jong may still want to be a part of Xavi’s project, rather than trying out a new kind of challenge with Ten Hag’s Man Utd or anyone else.

Meanwhile, Monday’s European transfer gossip has relayed a blow to Man Utd in their pursuit of a different midfielder from La Liga as well.

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