Manchester United are ready to admit DEFEAT in their pursuit of Barcelona’s Frenkie de Jong as Erik ten Hag looks set to miss out on his No 1 target… but the Dutch manager has set his sights on Juventus’ Adrien Rabiot
- Manchester United are prepared to give up on their pursuit of Frenkie de Jong
- Despite a fee being agreed with Barcelona the midfielder was unwilling to leave
- Erik ten Hag has now set his sights on Juventus’ Adrien Rabiot as a replacement
Erik ten Hag’s plan to build his Manchester United revolution around midfielder Frenkie de Jong is causing the manager major frustration as he resigns himself to missing out on his No 1 target.
There was confidence at Old Trafford that they could lure the Dutch star from Barcelona before the start of the season.
However, there is a growing sense now that De Jong will not become the marquee signing they had hoped for.
Manchester United are set to give up on their pursuit of Barcelona midfielder Frenkie de Jong
United have not completely given up yet on trying to secure a deal but their chances are hanging by a thread.
Ten Hag and the club have reluctantly started the process of seeking an alternative and are pressing ahead with a move for Juventus and France playmaker Adrien Rabiot, 27.
Failure to land De Jong will be a significant blow to Ten Hag, who had made it his priority to sign the player he had worked with for two seasons at Ajax.
United have had a long-standing interest in De Jong this summer but he is unwilling to move
The Dutch coach and his staff feel De Jong’s attributes are essential to the passing and possession style they want to implement at United.
Such was the belief at one stage this summer that United could reach a deal for De Jong – despite not having qualified for this season’s Champions League – Ten Hag thought it was unnecessary to consider any alternatives.
However, despite a loose agreement between Barcelona and United, the stand-off between De Jong and his club over the £17million he is owed in wages has proved the stumbling block.
Erik ten Hag suffered a 2-1 defeat to Brighton in his opening game as Manchester United boss
The player’s reluctance to join United has also become clearer as the summer has developed.
Chelsea have emerged as a realistic alternative destination for De Jong. Joining the Blues would mean the midfielder could continue to play in the Champions League if he is forced out of the Nou Camp.
Sources have indicated a move to Stamford Bridge is a more realistic prospect than De Jong being reunited with Ten Hag at United.
Whether De Jong leaves Barca, this summer will still rely heavily on the much-publicised impasse over his deferred wages.
Sources close to De Jong’s proposed move to Old Trafford had indicated to Sportsmail that United were willing to pay a percentage of the money that the midfielder is owed in order secure his signature.
However, unless there is an unexpected turn of events, Ten Hag and United are braced for disappointment.
Ten Hag and Manchester United have since set their sights on Juventus’ Adrien Rabiot
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