Man Utd ‘take concrete steps’ in pursuit of Frenkie de Jong transfer alternative

Man Utd's 2022/23 Premier League Fixtures

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Manchester United are making progress in their efforts to negotiate a move for Juventus midfielder Adrien Rabiot, who could be snapped up if they fail to land Frenkie de Jong from Barcelona, according to reports. The Red Devils are believed to be keen on strengthening their midfield ranks in advance of the new campaign as Erik ten Hag looks to rebuild his playing squad at Old Trafford over the course of this summer.

United have been locked in talks with Barcelona over a move for De Jong for some time but it has been suggested that they could decide to walk away from the negotiating table if the Catalan giants fail to accept a reasonable bid for his services. It seems as though Rabiot has already been identified as a potential alternative by the Red Devils, who are ‘taking concrete steps’ in order to plan out a move for the Frenchman, according to Calciomercato.

It is said that United would have no qualms about meeting Juventus’ asking price for Rabiot, which is only believed to be in the region of around £12.8million. However, it is suggested that United’s lack of Champions League football next season could potentially mean that Rabiot would need to be convinced to make the switch, with a number of other clubs said to be keen on securing his signature.

Chelsea and Paris Saint-Germain have also been credited with a desire to land Rabiot, who made 32 appearances for Juventus in Serie A over the course of last season. His representatives are even said to have had a ‘constructive dialogue’ with PSG over the last few weeks, suggesting that a return to Paris could be among the many options on Rabiot’s radar this summer.

JUST IN: Man Utd ‘focused on two other deals’ in addition to De Jong transfer

It remains to be seen whether United will turn to Rabiot if they fail to land De Jong, with Barcelona unwilling to sell the Dutch playmaker for anything less than a premium fee before the new campaign gets underway. Former England striker Stan Collymore recently suggested that De Jong may not be good enough for a move to Old Trafford, though, in spite of his importance to Xavi’s midfield ranks at the Nou Camp.

“Manchester United’s pursuit of Frenkie De Jong is completely underwhelming,” Collymore recently told The Mirror when quizzed on the Barcelona man’s immediate future.

“He reminds me a bit of Martin Odegaard in the way he was trumpeted as the next big thing, before moving to Spain and then failed to reach the heights expected of him. At least Odegaard was 16 when he joined Real Madrid, not 21, as De Jong was when he moved to Barcelona.

“Don’t get me wrong, De Jong is a good player, he has all the attributes and would be a decent addition to the squad. But I ask myself if he’s someone who will take United to the next level and the answer, frankly, is no.”

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