Saturday, June 10, 2023

Man United playing a dangerous game in Frankie de Jong transfer chase

They say Rome wasn’t built in a day, but they probably did lay a few bricks after a couple of weeks, while Manchester United have yet to make a move in the transfer window.

It has been a worryingly slow start to the summer that was about to start another massive rebuild at United. Erik ten Haag has been in the hot seat for over a month, but he has yet to be handed a new addition, prompting a flurry of jealousy from United fans in the direction of Manchester City, Liverpool and Tottenham, who are already quite have become stronger.

No need to panic now. Unlike the three clubs who have all settled with managers who no doubt had long-drawn plans for what they wanted to add to their squad this summer, United have held onto coaching positions over the past few weeks. Made a lot of changes, but the club hierarchy throughout. It should come as no surprise that things have slowed down as a result.

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United are aiming for at least the right goals, even though they have been unable to hit them. The fact that he was interested in Darwin Nunez before Liverpool easily won the race shows that the player he is aiming for remains high despite his current low stature. Another such target is Frankie de Jong.

It is understood Ten Haag has identified his fellow Dutchman as the perfect player to help him quickly stamp his identity on their new squad and it would be quite a coup for United, with de Jong having Has a passing range, elegance and tactical skill on the ball. Which none of his other midfielders have. It would be such a huge signing that when he first emerged as a target it seemed like a pipe dream.

United’s lack of Champions League football hardly makes him an attractive prospect for such a talented player, despite the allure of working with Ten Haig again, and surely better teams would show interest if he was available anyway? Still, as the weeks go by, it seems increasingly likely that United could actually pull it off.

Barcelona are intent on discarding a player who may not be a better fit for the club so that they really don’t have another aging megastar to spend the money on, and de Jong may have no choice but to go. Is. No other club has yet shown any interest, with the obvious option being Manchester City, instead concentrating their efforts on Calvin Phillips.

Remarkably United are a clear shot at bringing in a player who is far above their station. Still, the longer the conversation, the more dangerous the game becomes.

One drawback appears to be that even though United are de Jong’s only option, he has made it clear several times that he wants to stay at Camp Nou, even if the people of Catalonia want to capitalize on it. With Barca staying out for the same price as possible, it has inevitably prompted negotiations to drag on.

United seem unable to work on multiple deals at once, the more they continue to prioritize de Jong, the longer it will take to sign other players Ten Haag needs and the more opportunities they have Will pass through A midfielder is an important addition to the 25-year-old’s mold, especially in how the new manager would like their teams to play, but is it as important as the defensive midfielders they’ve needed for years? What does he need to complement his only current option in Cristiano Ronaldo as a striker? As a center-back to reinforce a formidable back-line?

We’ve been here before. United made three attempts to get Jadon Sancho from Borussia Dortmund, and the two windows they failed in allowed negotiations to progress and also affected their other summer business. In 2020 they managed to bring in Donny van de Beek, but were so hooked on Sancho that they did not complete any more signings until the day of the deadline, when they brought in Edinson Cavani, Alex Telles and Facundo Pallistri. None of which has been a great success.

Another window like this would put Ten Hag at such a disadvantage when he would not only need to consolidate multiple areas, but also need to put his side into complex tactics and instructions for match days. It almost guarantees a slow start to the season if the new boss is not given enough time in the training area with his team.

Signing de Jong will certainly be worth the wait but United are well aware that the move may not be done anytime soon. If it comes to this, they will have to show the courage to walk away this time.

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