EPL: Real reason I didn’t leave Barcelona for Man Utd – De Jong
Barcelona midfielder, Frenkie de Jong, has explained that he always wanted to stay at the Blaugrana during the summer transfer window amid Manchester United’s long-term interest in his signature.
As reported by the Manchester Evening News (MEN) in May, Man United quickly identified De Jong as their top target to strengthen their midfield options.
The Netherlands international had worked with Man United manager Erik ten Hag at Ajax and he was keen to reunite with his former coach at Old Trafford.
Man United even agreed to a deal with Barcelona to sign the 25-year-old at the end of June, reaching an agreement over an initial €65million fee.
However, the Reds Devils were unable to advance with their quest to sign De Jong because he was owed €17million in deferred wages.
Man United eventually ended up signing Casemiro from Real Madrid.
Speaking to reporters during a press conference ahead of the Netherlands’ clash with Poland on Thursday evening, De Jong opened up on why he did not leave Barcelona.
He said, “I always wanted to stay at Barcelona this summer, and this is why I always remained calm in the summer. I can’t give too many details away.
“But look, the club has its own ideas and I have my own ideas, too, and sometimes these clash with each other. But at the end of the day, things went okay.”
Despite being intent on staying at Barcelona, De Jong has struggled to nail down a regular place in manager Xavi’s plans so far this season.
“When I play less, I do notice it,” De Jong added. “Not really in terms of the technical aspect because you still know how to play football, but more so in the physical aspect.”
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