Frenkie De Jong’s father admits Man Utd have disadvantage in transfer pursuit

Frenkie De Jong’s father admits Man Utd have disadvantage in transfer pursuit

The father of Frenkie De Jong has confirmed five of the “top European clubs” have enquired about signing the Barcelona playmaker, but cast doubt over suggestions he could join Manchester United.

The 24-year-old arrived in a £65million deal from Ajax in July 2019 after impressing for the Eredivisie giants in their run to the Champions League semi-finals.

But De Jong has largely struggled to live up to the lofty expectations placed upon him at Camp Nou and has been linked with a move away from the club in January.

Manchester United have emerged as potential suitors for the Netherlands international after it emerged new interim boss Ralf Rangnick is keen to add a midfielder to his squad in January.

Barcelona midfielder Frenkie De Jong is reportedly a target for Manchester United

The German tactician is thought to be targeting Jude Bellingham and Amadou Haidara, but the chance to sign De Jong would surely prove tempting for the Red Devils boss if the opportunity arose.

However, De Jong’s father, John, played down speculation linking his son with a move to Man United and Bayern Munich — indicating the poor weather conditions would put him off leaving Spain.

“It’s often bad weather there. Of course it’s about football, but it does matter,” De Jong Snr said to Dutch publication Algemeen Dagblad (AD).

“Of course I know that Barcelona needs money and a great offer for Frenkie could help, but I don’t see it happening anytime soon.

“Although, the five top European clubs have all called.”

While De Jong Snr has seemingly brushed off rumours regarding his exit in the near future, the club’s precarious financial situation may force Barca to cash in.

The Spanish giants were unable to live up to their promise to hand Lionel Messi a new bumper contract due to strict salary budgets imposed by LaLiga.

Should Manchester United move for Frenkie De Jong in January? Comment below.

Ralf Rangnick is understood to be keen on signing a midfielder for Man Utd

The Argentinian departed on a free transfer to join PSG, while Antoine Griezmann returned on loan to Atletico Madrid, leaving the Blaugrana with a depleted squad.

Ronald Koeman was sacked in October after 14 months in charge and the Dutchman was thought to be an advocate for starting De Jong.

But the emergence of midfield starlets Pedri and Gavi have put De Jong’s place in the side under question.

Barcelona are struggling for form this season without Messi’s goals and find themselves down in eighth place after a 2-2 draw with Osasuna on Sunday.

Head coach Xavi Hernandez has insisted he wants to keep De Jong in his squad and shut down any suggestion he could be sold.

“Our goal is for Frenkie to be happy here,” he told reporters.

“We desperately need that type of player. He is definitely not in the shop window, rather the opposite. The idea is to make him stronger here.”

But with Barca facing a genuine battle to qualify for the Champions League next season, a failure to finish in the top four would surely result in some high-profile exits in the summer.

Frenkie De Jong joined Barcelona in 2019 from Ajax but has struggled to live up to expectations

And the Spaniard admitted he is “worried” about the club’s decline since his days as a player after recent defeats to Real Betis and Bayern Munich.

“I am worried, of course, but also focused on the job,” Xavi said in a press conference on Saturday.

“We have to try and lift the team emotionally because they are disheartened.”

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