Man Utd's worst ever Premier League season
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Manchester United’s midfield woes are set to continue with new reports emerging that Frenkie de Jong will snub a move to Old Trafford despite former manager Erik ten Hag being set to take the helm.
Ten Hag, who agreed a move to the north west from Ajax late last month, coached De Jong for 18 months in Amsterdam before the midfielder departed for Barcelona. It was hoped he might be able to lure his countryman from Spain to Old Trafford this summer given United’s burning need for a new midfielder due to the inevitable departures of Paul Pogba and Nemanja Matic.
But according to Saturday’s edition of The Daily Mirror, De Jong is set to turn down a move to the Red Devils because they have missed out on Champions League football for next season. Ten Hag had been plotting a move for the Netherlands international with a huge overhaul expected in the summer transfer window.
The Ajax boss, who won the Dutch league in midweek, has reportedly told United chiefs to ‘do all they can’ to secure De Jong’s signature. But with United only able to finish sixth at best this term, the player is reluctant to join them as he would miss out on playing in Europe’s premier competition next season.
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De Jong has had a relatively mixed time at Barcelona since his £65milion move back in 2019. However, with Xavi in the dugout, he believes he still has a promising career at the Nou Camp. England trio Kalvin Phillips, Declan Rice and Jude Bellingham are also on Ten Hag’s radar, but missing out on the top four also makes deals for them difficult to complete.
Ten Hag is also said to the players who are surplus to requirements to be ousted from the club by the time he joins next month. Pogba, Matic, Anthony Martial, Jesse Lingard, Eric Bailly and Juan Mata all look to be on their way out of the club this summer.
And star striker Cristiano Ronaldo is also in contention to leave despite scoring 24 goals for United this season. Despite being one of his more prominent players this campaign, Barca boss Xavi hinted that De Jong’s future had not yet been discussed.
“I haven’t talked with him about his future,” Xavi admitted.
“He is playing at a very good level and has to continue here – he can be one of the best midfielders in the world for years to come.
“If it were up to me, I would continue here for many more years. He is very important and can mark an era here. He has to score, assist and he has to be the protagonist.”
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