The Lowdown: Constant De Jong rumours
Few players have been linked with a move to Old Trafford as intensely as the Dutchman this year, with his Camp Nou future continually up in the air.
Despite recent reports from Manchester Evening News that the player has spoken privately with United manager Erik ten Hag in which he gave assurances that he would be happy to reunite with his former Ajax boss at Old Trafford, a fresh claim from Romano suggests that there is only one scenario that the 25-year-old wants.
The Latest: De Jong wants to stay put
Speaking to GiveMeSport, the journalist claimed that De Jong is keen on staying at Barcelona rather than moving to United.
“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.”
The Verdict: Feels increasingly unlikely
This update is undoubtedly a blow for United, with De Jong someone who could further transform their midfield, given his ability both in and out of possession, having averaged 2.4 tackles per game at the World Cup.
At 25, he would represent a much longer-term option than Casemiro and Christian Eriksen (both 30), while he could also link up effectively with the pair for a few years if he comes to Manchester in 2023.
However, it looks increasingly like United could have to look elsewhere to sign a midfielder in January or next summer, unless there is a drastic change in De Jong’s mindset.