Frenkie de Jong moved to Barcelona in 2019 for £77million (Photo: Getty)
The Dutch defensive midfielder has repeatedly been linked with a move to Old Trafford where he would be reunited with his former Ajax manager Ten Hag, with formal talks between the player and the club starting last Wednesday.
But while United want to buy, and Barcelona seem happy to sell, De Jong is not keen on leaving the Nou Camp and once again made this point clear in an interview with Dutch newspaper Algemeen Dagblad.
The 25-year-old said: ‘I have enough confidence in myself [to be a success at Barcelona]. I am not afraid.
‘I recently spoke extensively with the trainer [Xavi]. That was a very good conversation.
De Jong could reunite with ex-Ajax boss Erik ten Hag at Man Utd (Photo: Getty)
‘I will not go into that [the links to United]. Not even about other names or clubs.
‘I used to be naive and open-minded about it. I don’t do that anymore.
‘I understand that that link is made. That sum is not that difficult, it is logical.
‘I have enjoyed working with Ten Hag at Ajax – and I can’t look into the future, of course. But I prefer to stay at Barcelona.
‘That has always been my dream club and it still is. As long as I don’t hear from the club management, I assume nothing is going on.’
Ten Hag coached De Jong for 18 months, winning a league and cup double in 2019 whilst also reaching the semi-finals of the Champions League, knocking out Real Madrid and Juventus in the process.
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He subsequently moved to Barcelona for £77million and while he has done well, the La Liga side has struggled both on and off the pitch and due to their financial difficulties, manager Xavi is willing to offload several players in order to balance the books.
United have been desperate for a world-class defensive midfielder for some time and with Nemanja Matic and Paul Pogba departing the club this summer, it has undoubtedly become Ten Hag’s most pressing concern.
However, signing De Jong will not at all be easy, as not only is the player unwilling to leave, but Barcelona are looking to recoup almost all of his transfer fee, a price that will surely prove too much for the Red Devils.
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