Thursday, April 18News That Matters

Frenkie de Jong ‘disgusted’ by Barcelona situation with Man Utd still interested

Frenkie de Jong feels ‘disgusted’ by his treatment at Barcelona, while Manchester United retain an interest in signing the midfielder, according to reports.

The 25-year-old continues to feel mistreated by his club and United manager Erik ten Hag is keen to reunite with him at Old Trafford.

De Jong rejected the opportunity to sign for the Red Devils during the summer transfer window, despite the two teams coming to a £63m agreement in July.

Fending off pressure from Barcelona chiefs to leave and help remedy the La Liga side’s financial woes, the Dutchman got his wish of staying in Catalunya. De Jong believed Xavi Hernandez would install him as a pillar of Barcelona’s team for the 2021-22 season – but it has been the opposite so far.

According to Sport, the Netherlands international expected to play a key role for the Blaugrana this season, but has only managed four starts from a possible 12. Notably named on the bench for Barca’s must-win Champions League game at home Inter Milan on Wednesday.

The Spanish star preferred a midfield trio of Sergio Busquets, Gavi and Pedri, snubbing both De Jong and Franck Kessie. With the Clasico fixture on the horizon this Sunday, De Jong’s chances of starting are very slim.

Although 34-year-old Busquets is in decline, Xavi doesn’t view De Jong as his long-term heir at the base of midfield – contrary to how Ten Hag hopes to deploy him.

Shortly after being appointed April, the United boss identified his former Ajax prodigy to be the lynchpin of his side for years to come, and ESPN claimed that Ten Hag hasn’t been deterred by De Jong’s reluctance to join the club.

Ten Hag spent much of the summer chasing his main target, with it quickly emerging that De Jong was unwilling to sign for United unless Barcelona paid him a deferred wage packet worth up to £14m.

It then became apparent that Ten Hag was ready to battle right until deadline day for his signature, choosing not to sign an alternative midfielder with the same profile as De Jong.

During last month’s international break, the player confirmed that his mind was made up before the summer window opened.

“I had already decided in May that I wanted to stay. So I was very calm,” De Jong told NOS. “I now feel welcome at the club. Nothing has ever changed with my teammates.”

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