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Erik ten Hag is crazy about Frenkie de Jong – will ask for the midfielder again this summer

Manchester United manager Erik ten Hag is ‘crazy’ about signing Barcelona midfielder Frenkie de Jong and will ‘ask for him’ during this summer’s transfer window, according to Mundo Deportivo.

Ten Hag was keen on a reunion with his former Ajax star in 2022. United agreed a fee of €85 million (£73m) after several rounds of negotiations, but the midfielder refused to discuss terms.

De Jong was adamant that he did not want to leave the Blaugrana and maintained his stance.

The Dutchman has not altered his position, but Barcelona will reportedly (front page) ‘seriously’ consider a ‘good offer’ with his contract expiring in June 2026.

Barca are looking to sign either Martin Zubimendi or Joshua Kimmich. This could pave the way for De Jong’s departure this summer.

Ten Hag recently said that De Jong would have complemented Casemiro very well in his midfield. He is still crazy about him and will ask United to make a fresh proposal.

United unlikely to return for De Jong

Ten Hag felt that De Jong would have been a perfect midfield acquisition for United in 2022. The midfielder’s ball control and range of passing would have made him an ideal signing.

However, the 26-year-old had other plans and decided to stay at Barcelona. United’s hierarchy are unlikely to return for the Netherlands star.

The fee could be a stumbling block with United in a tight financial position. They can’t afford to overspend with the risk of breaching the Profitability and Sustainability rules.

The midfielder’s wage demands would break their wage structure. De Jong currently earns €470,000-a-week at Barcelona which equates to around £405,000 weekly.

Casemiro and Raphael Varane are the highest earners at the club on £350,000 and £340,000 weekly. United are keen on offloading both players this summer.

Co-owner Sir Jim Ratcliffe wants to reduce the wage bill and is unlikely to sanction a move for De Jong, who may want £450,000 to agree personal terms.

There is also no indication that De Jong would consider a move. United would not want another long transfer saga only for the midfielder to turn down a transfer to Old Trafford.

The midfielder could wait another year before considering a new challenge or leave on a free transfer with a loyalty bonus in 2026.

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