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Manchester United set to miss out on Frenkie de Jong

The transfer saga involving Manchester United and Frenkie de Jong could soon finally reach its conclusion, although it will be an unhappy one for Erik ten Hag.

What’s the word?

United have been linked with the Netherlands international throughout the summer but have found it extremely difficult to do a deal with Barcelona, due to a number of factors.

The Catalan club were keen to cash in on the former Ajax man to ease their financial woes and allow them to register new signings but he was seemingly unwilling to make the move to Old Trafford due to the lack of Champions League football on offer.

Now it seems as if he will leave the Nou Camp but will be moving to London to join Chelsea instead, with the latest reports from The Times suggesting that the Blues are very close to securing an agreement with De Jong and Barcelona for his transfer.

United were originally willing to pay £71m earlier in the transfer window with that fee being agreed upon between the two sides.

Ten Hag will be gutted

Ten Hag has clearly been extremely keen to reunite with De Jong at Old Trafford and will no doubt be incredibly gutted that United haven’t been able to get a deal done.

Were United ever going to sign De Jong?

Yes

Yes

No

No

There will be a concern now that, after missing out on their main transfer target, the Red Devils will be forced to turn to other less attractive options, with the reported arrival of Adrien Rabiot doing a lot to suggest that those on the board at Old Trafford are panicking.

Last weekend’s opening fixture defeat against Brighton saw United’s midfield of Christian Eriksen, Fred and Scott McTominay simply outclassed by Graham Potter’s side, and highlighted just how much United need to strengthen if they are to improve on a disastrous 2021/22 campaign.

The latter of the two were so uninspiring that both were withdrawn early in the match, with Fred failing to win a single defensive duel.

De Jong certainly possesses the quality to play at the very top, emphasised by the 91.3% pass accuracy he averaged in La Liga last season, a tally that significantly betters the 67% completion of McTominay last weekend.

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United’s best passer of players to start at least ten games last term, by comparison, was centre-back Raphael Varane, who averaged an 87.8% pass accuracy, while Fred, McTominay and Bruno Fernandes were all below 86%.

Therefore, they are clearly lacking a player of De Jong’s quality in the middle of the park, and given how much United have pushed to sign him, it should be a big blow to Ten Hag that Chelsea have reportedly won the race to sign him.

Article title: Manchester United set to miss out on Frenkie de Jong

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