Barcelona midfielder Frenkie de Jong may live to regret his decision to show down a summer move to Manchester United as he looks to earn a spot within the Netherlands squad for this yr’s World Cup. The Dutchman was relentlessly targeted by United in one in every of the essential transfer sagas of pre-season but ended up staying on the Nou Camp after refusing to entertain the thought of joining the Red Devils.
United even managed to agree a fee at club level with Barcelona but were thwarted by De Jong’s determination to remain and fight for his place, missing out on his signature because of this. The previous Ajax midfielder has only featured sporadically at Barcelona for the reason that end of the transfer window, though, together with his lack of minutes potentially capable of harm his possibilities of starting for the Netherlands in Qatar later this yr.
Netherlands boss Louis van Gaal admitted on Tuesday that De Jong’s variable playing time could possibly be a priority ahead of the World Cup, with this month’s Nations League fixtures against Poland and Belgium set to function the ultimate warm-up matches for the tournament.
“It’s true that many players called me within the transfer window,” began Van Gaal at a press conference. “But I all the time ended every conversation with: ‘That is my advice, but you make your individual decision’.
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“I’m blissful with the consequence. But I can be happier if Frenkie and Memphis [Depay] would play greater than they at the moment are.”
De Jong can be eager to nail down a spot within the Netherlands squad by impressing against Poland on Thursday before returning to Barcelona at the top of the international break. He’s currently the highest-paid player on the Nou Camp but has been reduced to a bit-part role over the course of this season, with Xavi having rotated between De Jong, Sergio Busquets, Pedri, Gavi and Franck Kessie in midfield as of late.
Meanwhile, it stays to be seen whether United will eventually resolve to reignite their pursuit of the Dutch playmaker, who continues to be tied right down to Barcelona until the summer of 2026 as things stand. The Red Devils went on to sign Casemiro after giving up on De Jong over the summer nevertheless it has been suggested that Erik ten Hag could possibly be wanting to usher in one other central midfielder between now and the beginning of next season.
The United boss is reportedly set to be given at the least £75million to make use of as he sees slot in January after spending in excess of £200m on recent players in the course of the summer months. Ten Hag’s mid-season budget could also rise by one other £25m if Cristiano Ronaldo leaves United on the turn of the yr, which can boost their hopes of finally landing De Jong in the event that they resolve to try again.
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