Manchester United manager Erik ten Hag believes Frenkie de Jong is the player ‘to build a team around’, according to talkSPORT reporter Alex Crook.
United have been chasing the Netherlands international’s signature all summer, yet he appears to be no closer to departing Barcelona at this moment in time despite deadline day fast approaching.
What is the latest news involving De Jong?
Despite the Red Devils having a £68 million bid accepted for De Jong by Barca, they have been unable to convince him to make the switch to the red half of Manchester.
The 25-year-old has publicly declared that his preference would be to stay at Camp Nou and his complicated contract situation has made any potential deal even more convoluted.
Barcelona’s hierarchy are even threatening to take De Jong to court over his existing £164,000-per-week deal in an extraordinary turn of events, while Chelsea’s interest in the player has placed yet another obstacle in United’s path.
However, despite the difficulties in luring the technician to the club, another midfielder has not been signed, contributing to their awful start to the season.
Reliable journalist Andy Mitten has previously claimed that Ten Hag is ‘prepared to be patient because he’s central to his plans’ and that ‘there is no plan B’, something he could now come to regret.
What has Crook said about De Jong?
Crook has backed up Mitten’s claims by informing GiveMeSport that Ten Hag has ‘never deviated’ from his plans to sign De Jong, although he doesn’t believe the potential deal is ‘off’ just yet.
He said: “Ten Hag has never deviated; he believes that De Jong is the one to build a team around. United are playing the patient game.
“Obviously, there’s still Chelsea in the background, which is a bit of a cause for concern. But I definitely don’t think De Jong to United is off.”
Who else could Man Utd sign?
United’s move for Juventus midfielder Adrien Rabiot now appears to be off due to the France international’s wage demands, leaving Ten Hag to begin his search all over again.
And according to Sky Sports, Brighton and Hove Albion’s Moises Caicedo is a player who the 20-time English champions are considering as an alternative option.
The 20-year-old has only made 12 appearances for the Seagulls since signing from Independiente in February 2021 but has enjoyed a loan spell at Belgian outfit Beerschot since then.
Real Madrid’s Casemiro is another name that has reportedly been discussed, although it’s unclear if the five-time Champions League winner would be willing to make the move to United.
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