Rangnick questions VAR decisions after Man Utd lose at Arsenal
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Manchester United target Frenkie de Jong could turn down the opportunity to move to Old Trafford in advance of next season because of the English weather, according to his father. The Barcelona midfielder has been heavily linked with the Red Devils ahead of the summer months, with incoming boss Erik ten Hag said to be keen on snapping up the former Ajax man as part of an expected large-scale rebuild upon his arrival in Manchester.
United are believed to be in the market for a new holding midfielder and have reportedly identified De Jong as one that fits the profile of what they are looking for to replace Paul Pogba on a long-term basis. However, the player’s father, John, has already suggested that a move to Old Trafford could be outside the realms of possibility due to the notoriously unpredictable weather in England.
“It’s often bad weather there, of course, it’s about football, but it does matter,” he told Algemeen Dagblad when quizzed on De Jong’s future prospects back in December.
“Of course, I know that Barcelona needs money and a great offer for Frenkie could help, but I don’t see it happening any time soon. Although, five top European clubs have all called.”
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De Jong played under Ten Hag during his time at Ajax before joining Barcelona in 2019 and would certainly represent a shrewd acquisition for United, who are crying out for additional high-quality reinforcements ahead of next season. However, it remains to be seen whether the Red Devils will be prepared to spend big in order to prise him away from Barcelona in the not-too-distant future.
United have also been linked with a number of alternative options in the middle of the park including the likes of England ace Declan Rice, who has reportedly turned down the offer of a new contract at West Ham. They have also been mentioned in connection with a move for Leicester City midfielder Youri Tielemans since he rejected an extension to his current deal at the King Power Stadium earlier this year.
De Jong, meanwhile, remains tied down at the Nou Camp until the summer of 2026 and has registered 43 appearances for Barcelona in all competitions this season, chipping in with four goals and five assists in the process. De Jong is keenly admired by Xavi, who recently insisted that he can become one of the world’s best players if he continues to develop on an upward trajectory over the next few years.
“Frenkie is very important for me, for the club and for the team,” said the Barcelona boss. “He is a footballer who has to mark an era with his quality and personality.
“He is at a very good level since I arrived and he has to continue scoring goals, assists, and being the protagonist in games. He could be one of the best midfielders in the world in the coming years.”
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