Frenkie de Jong, a Barcelona midfielder, has spoken out about the failed Manchester United trade
Frenkie de Jong has acknowledged that he always intended to remain at Barcelona during the summer transfer window, despite Manchester United’s persistent pursuit of his signature.
As revealed by the Manchester Evening News in May, Manchester United named the Dutch international as their top target to bolster their midfield options. De Jong and Reds manager Erik ten Hag worked together at Ajax, and ten Hag was eager for a reunion at Old Trafford.
United reached an agreement with Barcelona to buy De Jong at the end of June, settling on an initial €65 million (£56.14 million) cost. The Reds were unable to sign the 25-year-old because he owed €17 million in deferred compensation.
Although the Reds pursued the former Ajax star for more than 100 days, they were ultimately forced to turn elsewhere for midfield reinforcements, signing Real Madrid’s Casemiro, who is a different type of player than De Jong. The latter player prefers to go on the ball and be progressive throughout the thirds, as opposed to sitting deep and committing fouls.
De Jong has now acknowledged that he always intended to remain at Camp Nou throughout the transfer season. However, he refrained from providing too many specifics regarding why he was so eager to remain in Spain.
“I always wanted to stay at Barcelona this summer, which is why I remained calm throughout the summer,” De Jong said during a press conference before Thursday’s match between the Netherlands and Poland. “I cannot divulge too many specifics.
“But, as you can see, the club has its views, and I have my own, and occasionally these ideas collide. But in the end, everything worked out.”
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