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Man Utd have special interest in Frenkie de Jong who could leave Barcelona this summer

Manchester United have a special interest in signing Frenkie de Jong who could pursue a new challenge away from Barcelona at the end of the season.

The Red Devils had identified De Jong as their priority midfield target in the summer of 2022. An agreement was reached with the Blaugrana, but the midfielder refused to negotiate terms.

United manager Erik ten Hag had his sights on reuniting with his former Ajax star, but the 26-year-old was determined to continue at the Catalan club.

Speaking on Onze Tv3, journalist Louis Canute has now revealed that De Jong is little disappointed at Barcelona and has not ruled out a summer exit.

The Dutchman is frustrated with the club’s inability to win the Champions League. United have a special interest despite missing out on his services in 2022.

As per Canute, De Jong is currently the highest earner at Barcelona earning £21.17 million per year which equates to a weekly salary in the region of £406,000.

Meanwhile, the La Liga champions no longer consider him as ‘untouchable’. They are willing to accept an offer on the table to help meet Financial Fair Play.

Man Utd unlikely to return for De Jong this summer

The Dutchman was adamant that he was not leaving Barcelona in the summer of 2022. United tried to convince him for several weeks before signing Casemiro from Real Madrid instead.

Casemiro had a brilliant debut season with offensive and defensive contributions. However, the Brazilian has had a mixed second campaign. There are suggestions that he could leave this summer.

The club are also looking at the prospect of offloading Christian Eriksen. Sir Jim Ratcliffe, who will take control of footballing operations, has his sights on reducing the average age of the squad.

The British billionaire is also keen on lowering the wage bill going forward. Taking this into mind, United are unlikely to make a fresh approach to sign De Jong in the next transfer window.

First of all, Barcelona may want a fee of at least £60-70m. On top of this, United may have to meet the player’s staggering wage demands. He already earns around £406,000 per week.

The club could save £500,000 weekly by parting ways with Casemiro and Eriksen, but Ratcliffe and INEOS are unlikely to spend it on a single player and could look at signing an emerging star.

Benfica’s Joao Neves would be a superb long-term acquisition. He has a £103m release clause in his contract, but the Portuguese outfit could negotiate a lesser price in the summer.

He is currently one of their lowest earners at £16,000 per week. United could hand him close to £100,000 weekly if he were to make the switch to Old Trafford in the next window.

Stats from Transfermarkt.com & Capology.com