Man Utd plotting fresh move for Erik ten Hag favourite after failed summer bid

Manchester United have not given up hope of signing Frenkie de Jong from Barcelona.

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The Premier League side spent almost three months chasing a deal for the Netherlands international during the summer transfer window with Erik ten Hag making him his top target.

Having manged de Jong at Ajax, ten Hag saw him crucial to his Old Trafford rebuild but despite United officials making several trips to Spain, a deal for the 25-year-old was never agreed with the situation complicated by Barcelona’s financial restructuring.

United later turned their attention to Casemiro, signing the Brazil international from Real Madrid in a deal worth £60million.

The club also brought in Christian Eriksen on a free transfer with both proving to be superb additions.

BBC Sport however report ten Hag still wants de Jong in Manchester, believing he can still fit perfectly into his squad.

De Jong’s role at Barcelona was under scrutiny in the summer with Spain trio Gavi, Pedri and Sergio Busquets the manager’s favoured options in midfield wit Franck Kessi also joining the club from AC Milan.

Despite starting the season out of favour the Dutchman went into the World Cup break as an important member of Xavi’s starting XI, starting their last six games heading into the competition.

De Jong was asked about United’s interest in his services during Netherlands’ World Cup campaign in Qatar. When asked how close he was to joining the club in the summer, De Jong replied: ‘I am at a World Cup tournament. I am not going to talk about club football.’

Former Netherlands and Liverpool star Ryan Babel meanwhile has urged his countryman to avoid a move to the red half of Manchester.

‘They have so far have shown signs that Erik ten Hag knows what to do, but by far it is not the level as what he has done in Ajax, Babel said.

‘So for Frankie personally, if you go from Barcelona to United, I think that is a step down.

‘In terms of technical aspects. I prefer to see him in a team like [Manchester] City, or even Arsenal as well.’

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