Man Utd told not to waste time pursuing De Jong as Barca director insists ‘the time has passed’

Former Man Utd target Frenkie de Jong, Memphis Depay and Daley Blind celebrate a goal Credit: Alamy
Former Man Utd target Frenkie de Jong, Memphis Depay and Daley Blind celebrate a goal Credit: Alamy

Barcelona director Jordi Cruyff has told Man Utd not to come back in for Frenkie de Jong by saying the Netherlands midfielder is “not for sale”.

De Jong was not keen on a move to Man Utd last summer, while Barcelona were hoping to sanction the sale, however, both parties are now against a transfer it would seem.

This is music to the ears of the Football365 squad, who will have one less tedious transfer saga to worry about next month.

While there was the occasional twist and turn in the Red Devils’ pursuit of De Jong last summer, it was pretty inevitable that he would not be leaving Barcelona.

This was even when Liverpool and Chelsea were added into the equation.

It is believed that the La Liga side owe the player quite a bit in deferred wages, which was another reason he was reluctant to leave.

De Jong is Barcelona’s highest earner and given their financial troubles and his market value, they were looking to cash in.

After failing to convince the 25-year-old to move to Old Trafford, Man Utd completed the signing of Real Madrid midfielder Casemiro.

This move came out of the blue and it was a surprise to see the Brazilian decide to leave Los Blancos, though he had won everything there is to win with the La Liga giants.

Despite their signing of Casemiro, Man Utd may still be in the market for a new midfielder given the fact Christian Eriksen has been playing a deep-lying role under Erik ten Hag.

While he has performed in fits and starts, Fred is also another player who is upgradeable, as is Scotland international Scott McTominay.

Should Man Utd look to reignite their interest in De Jong, they will somehow manage to struggle more this time around than they did in the summer transfer window.

This is because Barca director Cruyff has said the Dutch playmaker is “really loved” in Catalonia and the “time has passed” for him to leave.

“Frenkie de Jong is not for sale,” Cruyff said (as reported by Fabrizio Romano).

“He’s a key player for us, so that time has passed. He’s here and he’s important for us.

“At the end of last summer, after Fair Play discussions, he stayed here and Frenkie is really loved at Barca.”

A new midfielder is certainly not a priority for Ten Hag following the departure of club legend Cristiano Ronaldo.

This has accelerated the club’s pursuit of a new striker.

Man Utd have been strongly linked to PSV forward and De Jong’s international teammate, Cody Gakpo.

Gakpo is not a natural No. 9 but he is a versatile forward who can certainly play through the middle.

The 23-year-old has shown that for the Netherlands at the World Cup, scoring three goals in four games with his side preparing to face Argentina in the quarter-finals on Friday.

READ MORE: World Cup XI of players whose transfer value has soared over the last few weeks

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