£72m target’s secret talks with Ten Hag ‘encouraging’ at Old Trafford – GiveMeSport

Manchester United have been handed an ‘encouraging’ sign in their bid to land Barcelona star Frenkie de Jong at Old Trafford, transfer insider Dean Jones has told GiveMeSport.

Red Devils boss Erik ten Hag will be presented with an opportunity to bolster his squad when the winter window opens for business next month.

GiveMeSport Transfer Update With Dean Jones
GiveMeSport Transfer Update With Dean Jones

Man United transfer news – Frenkie de Jong

According to the Manchester Evening News, de Jong has given assurances that he would be happy to join Manchester United during private conversations with ten Hag.

The report suggests the Red Devils’ hopes of signing the Netherlands international during the summer fell apart thanks to a deferral in his Barcelona wages, but the club have refused to rule out the possibility of returning to the negotiating table.

Manchester United initially thought they had got their man when a deal worth up to £72million was agreed for de Jong in July, but he ended up remaining at the Camp Nou.

The latest development comes after the central midfielder initially insisted he was not interested in leaving Barcelona during the summer, while he has also claimed that he has set his sights on staying with the La Liga giants for another decade.

Journalist Pete O’Rourke recently told GiveMeSport that Manchester United could revisit a deal for de Jong at the end of the season.

Read more: January Transfer Window 2023: When Does It Begin, Rumours and Everything You Need To Know

What has Dean Jones said about de Jong?

Jones believes Manchester United have been boosted in their pursuit of de Jong if he has admitted to being willing to head to Old Trafford.

However, the journalist is cautious over the situation due to the Dutchman previously maintaining he had no interest in leaving Barcelona.

Jones told GiveMeSport: “If he really has said that he’s open to a move to United, then I guess that’s encouraging.

“But this is a player who was absolutely adamant that he did not want to leave Barcelona and since he made that statement, he’s got himself into the team.”

Should Man United look to sign de Jong in January?

Although Manchester United forked out up to £70million in order to sign Casemiro from Real Madrid after failing to land de Jong in the summer, there is no doubt that they should look into the possibility of striking a deal.

According to FBref, the Barcelona man has averaged more goals and shots, along with a better pass completion rate, than the Brazilian since the campaign got underway.

That emphasises de Jong could get Manchester United on the front foot more often and he also made 59 appearances when playing under ten Hag at Ajax, so the current Red Devils chief already knows how to get the best out of him.

The 25-year-old was handed the second-highest Netherlands rating by WhoScored at the World Cup, highlighting that he made an impact in Qatar as well.

With that being the case, a January move for de Jong appears to be a no-brainer for Manchester United.

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