Manchester United told perfect transfer alternative if they fail in pursuit of Frenkie de Jong

Manchester United fans want the club to make a move for Ruben Neves if they fail to sign Frenkie de Jong.

The excitement over Erik ten Hag’s imminent arrival as United’s next manager has heightened this week as it emerged that the Dutchman is keen to reunite his former midfielder at Old Trafford. MEN’S Sports understands that United are considering a £75 million transfer for De Jong this summer.

While reports that a deal is close aren’t too good, United have reached out to the Catalan club to gauge the availability of the 25-year-old. There is a feeling that although he would rather stay at the Camp Nou, De Jong may be forced out of Barca this summer.

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Barcelona’s dire financial situation means that if they want to make their own purchases they will have to raise funds through player sales, with De Jong being one of their few consumables that would still fetch a high price. The emergence of midfield prodigies Pedri and Gavi has made it an even more appealing prospect.

The lure of teaming up with Ten Hag again after the pair had such success in Amsterdam could be tempting for De Jong and United could certainly afford Barca’s asking price, but a deal still looks hard to come by. De Jong is not exactly forcing his way out of Spain and if he has to leave, he would probably want to stay with a club at Champions League level.

In addition, there are probably plenty of parties that have qualified for the top European competition and would be interested in signing the Dutchman, with neighbors Manchester City as a possible destination. It is a shame, because De Jong would be the perfect asset to give Ten Hag’s reign a flying start, but the harsh reality is that it seems unlikely.

Wolves star Ruben Neves is still linked with a move to Old Trafford.
Wolves star Ruben Neves is still linked with a move to Old Trafford.

United have yet to sign a new midfielder, preferably two this summer. Their options in the middle of the park are already thin and they will only become more so after the end of the season when Paul Pogba and Nemanja Matic leave.

United supporters have told the club that Wolves star Neves should be their backup option. MEN’S Sports asked fans: “Which midfielder should Manchester United try to sign if they fail in their pursuit of Frenkie de Jong?”

The narrow winner with 46 percent of the 5,819 votes was Neves, who offers a similar level of controlled, elegant passing in the middle of the park. United experienced just how good the Portuguese are earlier this season when he played a key role in Wolves’ win over Old Trafford.

In second place, with 31 percent of the vote, was Borussia Dortmund teenager Jude Bellingham. United wanted to sign the 18-year-old when he first moved to Germany and would like to do so again. However, Dortmund are unlikely to let such an important player go in the same summer they lose Erling Haaland.

Leicester City’s dynamic Youri Tielemans came in third with 15 percent of the vote, with the remaining 8 percent opting for ‘different’. Players like Declan Rice, Aurelien Tchouameni, Wilfred Ndidi, Fabian Ruiz and Maxence Caqueret were all touted.

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