Soccer

Erik ten Hag ‘starting to get frustrated’ at Man Utd’s pursuit of Frenkie de Jong transfer

De Jong quizzed on Man Utd transfer links

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Manchester United boss Erik ten Hag is reportedly ‘starting to get frustrated’ at the club’s pursuit of Frenkie de Jong. The Netherlands international is his compatriot’s top transfer target for the summer window. But talks with Barcelona are being dragged out and there’s still no guarantee the 25-year-old will make a blockbuster switch to Old Trafford.

Manchester United have been trying to sign De Jong for weeks, now.

But negotiations have been slow and, at the current moment in time, the Red Devils have been unable to agree a fee with Barcelona – despite the Catalan giants’ willingness to let the midfielder go.

And, now, The Athletic say murmurings suggest Ten Hag is ‘starting to get frustrated’ with regards to the deal.

The Dutchman is said to ‘understand’ the club’s budgetary constraints after they failed to qualify for the Champions League, finishing sixth in the Premier League table last term.

The club are operating on a budget of around £120million and the 52-year-old knows he would be able to afford additional recruits if Barcelona accept a lower offer.

But Ten Hag wants De Jong signed as quickly as possible so they can prepare for the future and look at other targets.

Erik ten Hag: What De Jong was told about Man Utd transfer

The publication does add that ‘well-placed’ sources think a move to Old Trafford for the Barcelona star will happen.

De Jong is open to reuniting with his old boss, with the duo previously working at Ajax together – where they helped the Eredivisie outfit reach the semi-finals of the Champions League back in 2019.

Wages aren’t expected to be an issue but United do have ‘other affordable midfielders’ on their radar.

And if Barcelona do not budge on their current position, then the Red Devils are ready to focus on other players instead.

Coaches who are aware of De Jong’s style think he can be a huge hit at Old Trafford, providing a transfer takes place.

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And United could further boost their budget by selling stars who their new manager has deemed surplus to requirements.

Dean Henderson is looking increasingly likely to go, with Nottingham Forest hoping to secure the signature of the England international this summer.

Aaron Wan-Bissaka is another player who is heading for the door, while Anthony Martial will also be allowed to leave providing a suitable offer arrives.

De Jong isn’t the only star United have under consideration as they look to bounce back from last season’s horror show.

Jurrien Timber and Pau Torres have both been linked, though the former looks increasingly likely to stay at Ajax – especially with the World Cup in Qatar creeping closer.

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Other midfielders on their radar include Ruben Neves, Declan Rice and Kalvin Phillips.

And, up top, United have interest in both Christopher Nkunku and Antony.

Meanwhile, regarding De Jong, Luke Chadwick has endorsed a move for the Barcelona star.

Speaking recently, he said: “I definitely think the club should go for someone like De Jong. United need new options in the middle of the pitch, and he’s a hugely gifted player.

“We’re not privy to his situation or everything that’s being said behind closed doors, but it does seem like every Ajax player past and present is being linked with United since Ten Hag got the job.

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“I’m sure those Dutch players in that incredible team that Ten Hag built at Ajax would relish the opportunity to work with him again.

“I’m sure someone like De Jong would at least want the opportunity to speak to the club.

“He fits the profile, he’s a completely different character to Pogba in terms of how he conducts himself off the pitch.

“In my eyes, looking at the player, but not knowing the entire situation, admittedly, I think United should go for him.

“I think he should be considered because of what he did at Ajax under Ten Hag previously.”

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