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Frenkie de Jong: 'I prefer to stay at Barcelona over Manchester United'

:Headline: Frenkie de Jong: 'I prefer to stay at Barcelona over Manchester United':
Manchester United-linked midfielder Frenkie de Jong reaffirms his desire to stay at Barcelona, where he is under contract until the summer of 2026.
Sports Mole

Barcelona midfielder Frenkie de Jong has once again affirmed his desire to remain at Camp Nou amid links with a move to Manchester United.

The Netherlands international is still being strongly tipped to head to Old Trafford and reunite with Erik ten Hag following the pair's wholly successful stint at Ajax.

Ten Hag oversaw De Jong's development in Amsterdam and made the 2018-19 Champions League semi-finals with the 25-year-old in the side before his £77.4m move to Barcelona.

A recent report claimed that Man United were "close" to agreeing a fee with Barcelona for the transfer of De Jong, who would supposedly cost the Red Devils €80m (£68.4m).

However, with the Netherlands international still under contract at Barcelona until 2026, he has insisted that he has no plans to depart Catalonia in the near future.

"I will not go into that [the links to United]. Not even about other names or clubs. I used to be naive and open-minded about it," De Jong told reporters while on international duty.

"I don't do that anymore. I understand that that link is made. That sum is not that difficult, it is logical. I have enjoyed working with Ten Hag at Ajax – and I can't look into the future, of course. But I prefer to stay at Barcelona."

De Jong had previously explained his desire to continue at his "dream club" Barcelona to ESPN, saying: "I prefer to stay with Barcelona. Barcelona is just my dream club.

"Also from a young age. I just said it too. I've never regretted my choice despite the fact that I had hoped for more in terms of prizes than I've achieved so far. But I have never regretted my choice."

De Jong has made 139 appearances for the Catalan giants since his arrival in 2019, scoring 13 goals and setting up 17 more across all tournaments and winning one Copa del Rey crown.

The Dutchman's 2021-22 season saw him amass four goals and five assists in 46 games for La Blaugrana, who are set to bolster their midfield with the signing of Franck Kessie regardless of whether De Jong stays or leaves.

Ten Hag is expected to welcome at least one new midfielder to Old Trafford this summer following the departures of Paul Pogba, Jesse Lingard, Nemanja Matic and Juan Mata on free transfers.

West Ham United's Declan Rice has been earmarked as a priority target, but the Hammers' £150m valuation has forced Ten Hag to look elsewhere.

A move for Wolverhampton Wanderers' Ruben Neves also continues to be mooted, with the Portuguese also understood to be on Arsenal and Barcelona's radar.

A recent report also claimed that the Red Devils are considering a surprise swoop for Christian Eriksen, who trained with Ten Hag's Ajax following his cardiac arrest before returning to the Premier League with Brentford. body check tags ::

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