Erik ten Hag still interested in bringing Frenkie de Jong to Man Utd

It's that name again...
It's that name again... / Soccrates Images/GettyImages

Manchester United manager Erik ten Hag remains interested in Dutch midfielder Frenkie de Jong, and would still like to bring him to Old Trafford if he is to leave Barcelona in 2023.

90min understands Ten Hag has confirmed as such to the player's representatives as he looks to continue building a squad capable of helping United challenge for titles.

De Jong was subject to the most public of unsuccessful transfer pursuits for over three months of the summer transfer window earlier this year, with United and Ten Hag making him their primary target. Ten Hag had identified De Jong as key to his team build having worked the player before at Ajax, and knowing his qualities in carrying or distributing the ball through midfield.

United remained confident throughout their entire chase that they had done as much as they could to make the move happen - United officials were even spotted in Barcelona when negotiating the deal - though in the end a transfer failed to materialise. United had agreed a transfer fee with Barcelona.

Despite De Jong's continued public stance that his preference was to remain in Catalonia, United sources maintained that the barrier to the deal being completed was Barcelona's repayment of millions of euros in deferred wages throughout the pandemic period back to De Jong. This was the key to unlocking a move away and remains unresolved as it stands.

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90min has learned De Jong and his camp remain intent on retrieving the outstanding amount in the future, or a rightful amount the camp feel he's owed, despite Barcelona's financial problems which will only worsen following their group stage exit from the Champions League.

United are prepared to try again for the player should the opportunity arise, with Ten Hag always willing to play the long game on a player he believes can have a transformative impact on his team.

The signing of Christian Eriksen on a free transfer from Brentford in the summer has not quelled United's interest in De Jong, while Casemiro has also arrived from Real Madrid to provide protection in front of the defence.

De Jong is set to play at Old Trafford in 2023 regardless, as Barcelona and United face off in a Europa League knockout tie.