Manchester United target Frenkie de Jong has not held private discussions with Red Devils boss Erik ten Hag over a potential switch to Old Trafford, transfer guru Fabrizio Romano has told GiveMeSport.
The Barcelona star was heavily linked with a move to the red half of Manchester during the summer, but he remained at the Camp Nou.
Man United transfer news – Frenkie de Jong
According to the Manchester Evening News, de Jong has held private conversations with ten Hag where he gave assurances that he would be happy to join Manchester United.
The report suggests the Red Devils’ hopes of signing the central midfielder during the summer fell apart thanks to a deferral in his Barcelona wages, but the Premier League giants have refused to rule out the possibility of returning to the negotiating table.
Although transfer insider Dean Jones hinted he is unsure as to whether de Jong has held secret discussions with ten Hag, he recently told GiveMeSport that such a situation would be ‘encouraging’ in Manchester United’s ongoing pursuit.
The Red Devils are convinced that a swoop is possible next summer, but they also feel Barcelona president Joan Laporta is attempting to drive up the Netherlands international’s value by insisting he is not for sale.
Manchester United failed in their attempts to land de Jong just a matter of months ago, despite agreeing a deal worth up to £72million.
What has Fabrizio Romano said about de Jong?
Romano understands that de Jong has not assured ten Hag that he would be open to joining Manchester United.
The respected journalist is aware that the 25-year-old has been keen to remain with Barcelona rather than heading onto pastures new.
Romano told GiveMeSport: “Honestly, it sounds to me like it has always been the same story since a long time ago – Frenkie de Jong saying things privately. We spent the whole summer with this kind of story.
“The reality is that de Jong never changed his mind and he always wanted to stay at Barcelona so, at the moment, from what I’m told, there is nothing private.”
Read more: January Transfer Window 2023: When Does It Begin, Rumours and Everything You Need To Know
Could Man United bring forward their plans and sign de Jong in January?
It seems that it would be almost impossible for Manchester United to strike a mid-season deal as de Jong has forced himself into Barcelona boss Xavi’s preferred starting line-up and made 17 appearances this season, according to Transfermarkt.
He has failed to miss a single minute of the Catalan giants’ last four La Liga fixtures and the Dutchman also shone at the World Cup.
De Jong was handed the second-highest Netherlands rating by WhoScored, highlighting that he made an impact in Qatar ahead of his nation’s quarter-final exit at the hands of eventual winners Argentina.
The ten Hag target only revealed last month that he has set his sights on staying with Barcelona for another decade and, considering that admission and his form, Manchester United will have a tough job on their hands if they attempt to reach an agreement over a transfer next month.
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