Manchester United have been dealt a major blow in their pursuit of Frenkie de Jong as the midfielder remains determined to stay at Barcelona, according to SPORT.
Per the report, de Jong has communicated his intention to remain at the Camp Nou to both Barcelona and United despite the Red Devils believed to be nearing an agreement with the Catalans over a deal.
The Blaugrana head coach Xavi Hernandez is open to letting de Jong go and has even identified Bernardo Silva as a replacement for the 25-year-old, who was largely underwhelming during the just-concluded season.
However, de Jong labelled Barcelona his ‘dream club’ while speaking about his future earlier this month although he did admit that he enjoyed working with the current Manchester United boss Erik ten Hag during their time together at Ajax prior to his move to Spain back in 2019.
“I will not go into that [the links to United], not even about other names or clubs,” the Dutchman was quoted saying by Manchester Evening News.
“I have enjoyed working with Erik ten Hag at Ajax – and I can’t look into the future, of course but I prefer to stay at Barcelona.
“That has always been my dream club and it still is and as long as I don’t hear from the club management, I assume nothing is going on.”
De Jong was set to be United’s first Premier League transfer of the summer window but they may now have to look elsewhere in their search for a new midfielder.
Ruben Neves could be the most probable alternative with the 20-time English champions already linked with a move for the Wolverhampton Wanderers man.
Youri Tielemans would also be a good shout but Arsenal are currently thought to be in pole position to snap up the Leicester City midfielder.
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