– Frenkie de Jong has broken his silence on the Manchester United transfer saga that dominated the summer as he seemingly confirmed Barcelona wanted him to leave against his wishes.
– The Dutch star was incoming Manchester United boss Erik ten Hag’s number one target and a £63million fee had been agreed with the Spanish club to bring him to Old Trafford.
– But agreeing personal terms proved too difficult, with the 25-year-old determined to stay with the LaLiga giants.
Also Read: De Jong wants to stay at Barcelona – Laporta
– Barcelona were keen on cashing in on De Jong as they looked to ease their perilous financial situation. United were willing to pay around £65million to secure the Dutchman’s signature, a figure the Barca hierarchy were keen on taking.
– Yet De Jong, despite the club owning him a hefty sum in wages, stood firm and has now addressed the situation while on media duty for Holland’s upcoming Nations League fixtures with Poland and Belgium.
– It had been widely known that De Jong wanted to stay and Barca had hoped to sell him to bring in much-needed funds. The Spanish club’s treatment of the player attracted widespread criticism and reportedly caught the eye of global union Fifpro.
– Speaking at a press conference on Friday, De Jong said: ‘Chelsea and Man United interest? I already decided in May that I wanted to stay at Barcelona. I never changed this decision during the summer.
– He later added that at times during the summer he and Barcelona did not always agree on where he would be playing his football this season.
– ‘I can’t give too much details away,’ he said. ‘But look.. the club has its own ideas and I have my own ideas too and sometimes this clashes with each other. But at the end of the day things went okay.’
– United spent most of the summer chasing De Jong – despite it being widely considered a forlorn chase.
– De Jong, who joined Barca for £65m in January 2019, never indicated he wanted to go to United. As the weeks ticked down it became clear that Ten Hag, keen on a reunion with a player who was a focal point of his Ajax side, would need to find alternative options.
– United eventually signed Christian Eriksen on a free transfer and, after abandoning their pursuit of De Jong, splashed out £70m to bring in Casemiro from Real Madrid.
– Both players have been quick hits at Old Trafford and after a disappointing start to the season, United are now on a four-match winning run in the Premier League.