Manchester United

Manchester United

Premier League • England

Man Utd undercut Ten Hag over Barcelona transfer that would’ve pushed £50m flop out and aided De Jong pursuit

AC Milan right-back Sergino Dest

Erik ten Hag was prevented from forging a reunion with Sergino Dest at Man Utd by a member of the club’s hierarchy, and that deal could’ve aided their quest to sign Frenkie de Jong, per a report.

The Athletic reported early in the summer window that Manchester United were open to moving Aaron Wan-Bissaka on. Crystal Palace were the only genuine contender to emerge, though a move did not materialise.

The Telegraph later reported right-back was indeed a position United were seeking to address before the window slammed shut.

Diogo Dalot has taken the starting role, pushing £50m signing Wan-Bissaka onto the bench. Various outlets have all come to the same conclusion: Wan-Bissaka as a more defensive-minded right-back is a poor fit for Ten Hag’s system.

One player who was floated as an option to revamp the position was Sergino Dest.

The 21-year-old Barcelona star was put on the market and United drew repeated links. They had a connection through Ten Hag given the Dutchman managed Dest at Ajax.

What’s more, his modest price tag wouldn’t have prevented United from pursuing more expensive targets elsewhere, such as Casemiro, De Jong and Antony.

However, Dest would ultimately join AC Milan on loan with an option to buy around the £17m mark. Explaining why he didn’t end up at Old Trafford, the Athletic suggest it’s because of John Murtough.

Ten Hag undercut on Dest/Wan-Bissaka moves

The United director reportedly ‘backed’ Wan-Bissaka, something that made an exit unlikely. It stood to reason that if Wan-Bissaka was not moved out, a new right-back wouldn’t be required.

In contrast, Ten Hag was deemed receptive to the idea of letting Wan-Bissaka go, though Murtough seemingly won that battle.

It’s acknowledged in the report Dest would’ve suited Ten Hag’s style better than Wan-Bissaka. What’s more, Barcelona were hopeful of selling Dest to United in the hopes it’d pave the way for De Jong to follow suit.

In their words, ‘Barca’s hierarchy liked that idea as they thought it might help push De Jong to Old Trafford’.

Dest would wind up in Milan and Wan-Bissaka has since warmed the bench in Manchester.

De Jong too stayed put, though his future is expected to come under the microscope once again come January.