Barcelona’s Frenkie de Jong continues to downplay Man Utd ties | Soccer

Barcelona FC - Villarreal FC - La Liga Santander

Frenkie de Jong joined Barcelona for £77m in 2019 (Picture: Getty)

Manchester United transfer target Frenkie de Jong has reiterated his commitment to Barcelona despite enjoying working under Erik ten Hag.

The Dutch defensive midfielder has been repeatedly linked with a move to Old Trafford, where he would be reunited with his former Ajax manager Ten Hag. Formal talks between the player and the club started last Wednesday.

But while United are looking to buy and Barcelona seem happy to sell, De Jong isn’t keen on leaving the Nou camp and made that clear again in an interview with Dutch newspaper Algemeen Dagblad.

The 25-year-old said: “I have enough confidence [to be a success at Barcelona]. I’m not afraid.

“I recently spoke at length with the coach [Xavi]. That was a very good conversation.

Real Madrid v Ajax - UEFA Champions League

De Jong could reunite with ex-Ajax boss Erik ten Hag at Man Utd (Picture: Getty)

“I won’t go into that [the links to United]. Also not about other names or clubs.

“I used to be naive and open-minded. I don’t do that anymore.

“I understand that this connection is being made. This sum is not so difficult, it is logical.

“I’ve enjoyed working with Ten Hag at Ajax – and of course I can’t look to the future. But I prefer to stay in Barcelona.

“It has always been my dream club and it still is. As long as I don’t hear from the club management, I assume that nothing is going on.’

Ten Hag coached De Jong for 18 months, winning a league and cup double in 2019 while also reaching the semi-finals of the Champions League, knocking out Real Madrid and Juventus.

He then joined Barcelona for £77m and while he has done well, the La Liga side have struggled both on and off the pitch and their financial difficulties mean manager Xavi is ready to sack several players, to balance the books.

United have been desperate for a world-class defensive midfielder for some time and with Nemanja Matic and Paul Pogba leaving the club this summer it is undoubtedly Ten Hag’s most pressing concern.

De Jong’s signing won’t be easy at all, however, as not only does the player not want to leave, Barcelona are trying to recover almost his entire transfer fee, a price that will surely prove too high for the Red Devils.

MORE : Cristiano Ronaldo sends message to Erik ten Hag about Manchester United youngsters

MORE : Wojciech Szczesny urges Paul Pogba to return to Juventus after Manchester United departure confirmed

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Manchester United Barcelona's Frenkie de Jong continues to downplay Man Utd ties | Soccer

Nate Jones

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