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Manchester United ‘to rekindle Frenkie de Jong interest in January’

Manchester United ‘to rekindle Frenkie de Jong interest in January’

Manchester United are preparing to reignite their interest in Barcelona midfielder Frenkie de Jong ahead of the January transfer window, according to a report.

The 25-year-old was the subject of a long and drawn-out transfer saga over the summer, with the Red Devils persistently pursuing the Dutchman who was Erik ten Hag‘s primary target.

Despite reports claiming that United had agreed a fee in excess £70m with the Catalan giants to sign De Jong, the deal failed to bear fruit as the midfielder expressed his desire to remain at Camp Nou.

The former Ajax man, who recently admitted that Barca president Joan Laporta put pressure on him to leave the club over the summer amid their financial problems, was unwilling to reunite with Ten Hag at United after they failed to qualify for the Champions League.

However, Sport claims that Ten Hag has requested for the club’s hierarchy to rekindle their interest in De Jong and make another move for the midfielder in January.

Barcelona midfielder Frenkie de Jong in action in July 2022© Reuters

The report adds that Ten Hag believes his side still lacks quality in centre-midfield despite the summer arrivals of Casemiro and Christian Eriksen.

The Red Devils head coach regards De Jong as the ‘ideal footballer’ who could take the club to the next level and feels that the midfielder would require little time to adjust to his philosophy at Old Trafford.

It is thought that United’s chances of luring De Jong away from Barcelona in the New Year could be boosted if the La Liga giants fail to progress to the knockout rounds of the Champions League.

Barca currently sit third in Group G behind Bayern Munich and Inter Milan after four matches, and they could drop down into the Europa League if they fail to beat the Bundesliga champions in their penultimate group game next week.

De Jong has struggled for regular game time under head coach Xavi so far this season, starting only five of his 11 appearances across La Liga and the Champions League, with the likes of Sergio Busquets, Pedri and Gavi all preferred ahead of him in midfield.

Manchester United manager Erik ten Hag pictured on October 19, 2022© Reuters

While Ten Hag hopes that United will be active in the January market, the club’s football director John Murtough has suggested that the Red Devils are likely to experience a quiet winter window.

“Ultimately, we made a record level of investment for a single window, reflecting the conditions in the market, but also our commitment to supporting the manager,” Murtough told reporters via The Telegraph.

“We always said that reshaping the squad would take more than a window and we’re already working with Erik on the next steps in that process, with a focus on next summer and beyond.

“But it’s important to recognise that investment must always be sustainable, meaning that what we spend on players must be supported by revenues over the long term.

“We ended the summer slightly ahead of where we expected to be in terms of the number of players brought in, so we don’t anticipate the same level of activity in future windows, although we will continue to strengthen.”

United spent just over £200m on six summer signings, with Brazilian attacker Antony their most expensive addition at around £85m from Ajax.

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