Manchester United’s summer pursuit of Barcelona’s Frenkie De Jong has turned into something of a debacle as the weeks have progressed. When Erik Ten Hag arrived at the club to take over the reins from interim manager Ralf Rangick, it seemed that the Dutch playmaker would be one of the first additions during his reign. But as the summer has progressed, a deal has looked less and less likely. And two defeats on the spin at home to Brighton and away at Brentford – a game in which the Red Devils were mauled 4-0 – won’t have helped matters. Prior to those fixtures, oddschecker, which compares odds from online bookmakers as well as providing free tips on Premier League football, had expected United to be challenging for the top four this season. Right now, however, they look a million miles away from being a Champions League qualifying team.
Are United solely to blame?
Despite the plethora of problems gathering at Old Trafford, this transfer saga hasn’t been solely United’s fault. Barcelona are just as much to blame for the situation as the Premier League club, if not more so. The situation has dragged on as the Catalonians have refused to pay the former Ajax man a reported €17m in unpaid wages. Understandably, De Jong has said that he won’t be leaving the Nou Camp until he has been paid what he is owed, in full.
What must be even more of a slap in the face for the midfielder is that the Nou Camp club have forked out €153m on the signings of Robert Lewandowski, Raphinha, and Jules Kounde – who they haven’t even registered yet. As well as that, they have brought in Franck Kessie and Andreas Christensen, and while they were both free transfers, you can imagine that the pair are both on monstrous wages.
The club are said to be over €1bn in debt and have had to sell a wealth of assets in order to make the mega-money signings, including a portion of their TV rights, but it still doesn’t look as though De Jong will be paid what he is owed if he leaves the club.
So, have United finally given up?
From the outside looking in, it would appear that the recent addition of Casemiro – a five-time Champions League winner with Real Madrid – would alleviate the need to bring De Jong to Manchester. If rumours coming out of the club are to be believed, they are not yet ready to give up on their number one target. And let’s face it, a central midfield duo of Casemiro and Frenkie De Jong is a massive upgrade on Fred and Scott McTominay.