Barcelona star Frenkie de Jong has confirmed Manchester United “spoke with” the La Liga club over a transfer for him for a “big fee” last summer.
Erik ten Hag has built a very good squad in his as yet short tenure at Manchester United. Of course, crucial players like Marcus Rashford, David de Gea and Raphael Varane were already at the club when he arrived.
He’s added some quality assets into that already solid core. In his first transfer window as United boss, Ten Hag snared Antony, Casemiro, Lisandro Martinez, Tyrell Malacia and Christian Eriksen.
The majority of those players have become fantastic assets for United. It looks likely that the Red Devils will finish in the Premier League’s top four, following a disappointing sixth-placed finish last term.
Of the recent signings, Martinez, Eriksen and Casemiro have been particularly useful additions.
The latter pair have formed a very good partnership in the centre of the park. However, that partnership might not have been seen as often, if at all, had Ten Hag landed one of his main targets.
Indeed, the Dutchman tried his best at snaring Barcelona star De Jong. Reports last summer suggested United had come to an agreement with the La Liga side, but De Jong didn’t want to leave.
As such, he’s remained at Camp Nou, where he’s been part of a La Liga winning side.
De Jong confirms Man Utd approach
De Jong has recently confirmed that United did approach Barcelona, and he could have easily been sold.
“Manchester United already spoke with Barcelona despite the fact that I wanted to stay here,” he told Ziggo Sport.
“The club was in a difficult situation. They were able to sell me for a big fee, and they wanted to do this, but I did not want to leave so I stayed.”
De Jong has also revealed he’d ideally like to remain at Barcelona for as long as they’ll keep him.
“If everything goes well for me and for the club, then I want to stay here for as long as possible,” he added.
Ten Hag still lurking for De Jong
That might be easier said than done, though. Reports of late have suggested Ten Hag still wants to make the midfielder a Manchester United player.
De Jong has played an important role in Barcelona’s title-winning season. He’s scored twice and assisted three times in 30 league appearances this season.
United are likely of the opinion he could impact them in a similar way, in reference to winning titles. The Red Devils will also be on alert if anything changes in De Jong’s situation at Barcelona.
If reports are to be believed, there’s reason to suggest he might become unhappy at the club. Indeed, it’s been reported he’s been asked to take a second pay cut, as Barca attempt to balance their wages, due to Financial FairPlay regulations.
If that does push him away from the La Liga side, United will be waiting in the wings for him.