De Jong’s relationship with Ten Hag ‘not particularly special’ with Man Utd ‘seen as a step down’

Frenkie de Jong and Erik ten Hag do not have a ‘particularly special’ relationship with the Man Utd target likely to stay at Barcelona, according to reports.

The Red Devils have now been working away at a deal for the best part of 427 years as they look to get a deal for De Jong over the line this summer.

Since Barcelona and Man Utd reached a ‘full agreement’ eight days ago for around €85m, there has been little progress towards a completion of a deal.

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Just today a report in Goal insisted that Man Utd are only hanging around because they have been given ‘encouraging feedback’ over a potential transfer and that ‘they would never have wasted so much of the window’ if that hadn’t been the case..

While just hours later a report in Spanish newspaper Sport has claimed that De Jong will ‘only agree’ to leave Barcelona if he can move to Chelsea, who will be playing in the Champions League next season.

And now Dermot Corrigan, writing for The Athletic, reckons that De Jong ‘staying at Barcelona wouldn’t be a surprise’ despite the will of Man Utd to ‘pay him a lot of money to play for them’.

He adds that ‘anywhere else can be seen as a step down’ from Barcelona, including Man Utd, with the Red Devils struggling to a sixth-placed finish last term.

The report in The Athletic continues:

‘Viewed from the Barcelona dressing room, a move to Manchester United is not that attractive, even if United were to agree to meet all the financial commitments in De Jong’s Barca contract.

‘The Athletic has been told he did not have a particularly special relationship with Ten Hag when at Ajax. There has been plenty of turbulence at Old Trafford in recent years and especially this summer — De Jong is likely to share Cristiano Ronaldo’s view on playing in the Europa League this season, with no guarantee of a return to the Champions League any time soon.’

Some pundits have started suggesting that the Red Devils should set a deadline for a deal and former England goalkeeper Paul Robinson reckons they “turn their attentions elsewhere” with Youri Tielemans available.

When asked if Man Utd should move on if De Jong is likely to want to stay at Barcelona this summer, Robinson told Football Insider: “If the rumours are true, Manchester United should walk away from it. I think he has come out and said that he is not keen on leaving Barcelona.

“United keep knocking and knocking. If it is true that he will take a pay cut, United have to turn their attentions elsewhere. They are wasting their time otherwise.

“I think they need to try and get a deal for Tielemans over the line.”


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