Fabrizio Romano reveals £100m De Jong alternatives at Old Trafford

Manchester United could consider two Premier League alternatives if a move for Barcelona midfielder Frenkie de Jong falls through, according to Fabrizio Romano

Erik ten Hag has made the Dutchman a priority according to the journalist but complications at the Camp Nou have slowed the deal down significantly.

What’s the latest on the midfield search?

The new United boss has appeared set on bringing De Jong to Old Trafford since he replaced Ralf Rangnick in the dugout and a £63 million deal has reportedly been agreed between the clubs too. 

The complication lies in unpaid wages. De Jong took a pay cut during the pandemic and now wants around £17 million in deferred wages repaid before he moves on this summer. 

There have also been rumblings that De Jong does not want to leave the La Liga giants at all and also if he does, that he prefers a move to Chelsea than United. 

All this has made the situation incredibly confusing and two alternatives the club may consider should this deal fall through are Leicester City’s Youri Tielemans and Wolves ace Ruben Neves, according to Romano, who have a combined value of £100 million.

What has Romano said on potential De Jong alternatives?

Romano told GIVEMESPORT: “Players like Youri Tielemans or maybe Ruben Neves could be interesting options. They’ve always been appreciated by United but their plan A, B and C is Frenkie de Jong and so this is why at the moment there are still no negotiations for these players.”

Why are United looking for a new midfielder?

Alongside their centre-back options, United’s midfield has been one of the most heavily criticised factors at the club for a while now. 

Whether it is Paul Pogba being accused of inconsistency, or anger at Scott McTominay and Fred’s lack of creativity, it is an area short of praise. 

That criticism is not entirely unjustified either. Last season Fred averaged one key pass per 90 minutes in the Premier League while McTominay provided just 0.8. As a comparison, Liverpool’s James Milner averaged 2.3.

Last season saw De Jong provide 1.5 per 90 minutes for Barcelona, already a marked improvement on the output of the current options at Old Trafford. 

So it is easy to see what Ten Hag hopes to add to the area this summer in order to make United a more potent and fluid attacking threat throughout the season. 

The big question is now whether to gamble and wait out the De Jong situation or perhaps start to get serious about one of Tielemans or Neves. The wrong choice could leave United in an even worse situation than they currently find themselves. 

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