No sooner had Erik ten Hag sat behind the managerial desk at Old Trafford, the new boss pinpointed a fellow Dutchman as the priority summer signing, insisting his club should go all-in to sign Frenkie de Jong from Barcelona. Unfortunately, bid after bid was rejected and renegotiated between the two clubs, while the player himself wasn’t entirely convinced.
In the end, as the clock ticked swiftly towards the end of their window of opportunity, the Red Devils were forced to turn their attention elsewhere. Instead, the club stunned everyone officially announcing the arrival of Casemiro from Real Madrid, spending around £60 million to land the Brazilian star. This was quickly followed by the capture of his compatriot Anthony from Ajax, reportedly splashing out more than £80 million in the process.
Meanwhile, despite having spent so extravagantly in the summer already, there are growing signs that Manchester United will dip their toes into the water again, ready to dive straight into the January transfer window if the right deals can be found. It could also herald the next chapter of an ongoing transfer saga, should the club decide to resume negotiations with Frenkie de Jong, and providing Barcelona can be tempted to sell.
Frustrating times around Frenkie
Back when Manchester United launched their major offensive to sign Frenkie de Jong, the club and their new manager did so with the utmost confidence, seemingly certain they could unite Erik ten Hag with one of his former Ajax pupils. Nevertheless, the whole situation began to stretch out much further than anyone anticipated, including at Barcelona, who actually seemed really keen to sell the player given their financial difficulties.
But whenever new bids were lodged and talks resumed between the two clubs, including a delegation of United officials that flew to Barcelona, there was always one important sticking point. Frenkie de Jong was quite happy with life in Spain, had just bought a luxurious new house in the Catalan city, and made it clear that he was more than content to stay put. Regardless of having spoken to Erik ten Hag, the player still seemed unwilling to move.
The lengthy and undoubtedly tiresome saga appeared to have reached an end. If the player was unwilling to make the switch, what was the point of continuing any further negotiations with his club? That was inevitably the question being asked by many fans of Manchester United, especially with a new manager at the helm and the desire to rebuild, aiming to put this fallen giant firmly back into the hunt for silverware.
Now as we head towards the January transfer window, Manchester United look set for more activity, fuelling widespread speculation in the media, and even the appearance of transfer betting markets at online bookmakers. Comparing the best football betting sites will make for some compelling searches, particularly in tandem with reliable reviews based upon safety and security, backed by appealing odds and promotions. But what are the odds of getting Frenkie de Jong at long last?
Barcelona star hints at firm decision
Manchester United will undoubtedly focus on key areas of need, when Erik ten Hag evaluates the options available in the January transfer window, keen to strengthen the squad with genuine improvements. There may also be some important departures, all of whom will obviously need to be replaced.
And this is where we come to the name of a certain Dutch midfielder again, although according to the Manchester Evening News this week, Frenkie de Jong has already made his January transfer decision. Unfortunately for United once again, that decision is not the one they were hoping for, as the player pushes any thoughts of moving out of his mind. Subsequently, the betting odds are lengthening against any possible deal.
The 25-year-old midfielder has apparently ruled out any chance of a mid-season switch, said to be “clear and firm” regarding his desire to remain at Barcelona, at least until the end of the 2022-23 campaign. Whether any attempts to change his mind are forthcoming from United, remains to be seen, although it would indicate their efforts would ultimately fall on deaf ears.
For now, Manchester United would probably best served by forgetting entirely about Frenkie, turning their attention elsewhere and towards players who actually do want to join. This will be a pivotal transfer window for the club, and for their manager, as he attempts to steer the team into genuine contention for a place in the Premier League top four.