Ornstein provides update on Frenkie de Jong to Manchester United

Manchester United’s pursuit of Frenkie de Jong is continuing to drag, and is holding up the rest of the club’s summer business.

BBC Sport reported a week ago that United were in contact with Barcelona over a transfer move. The deal does not appear to be closer.

An update, of sorts, was provided by journalist David Ornstein via The Athletic Football Podcast, and he said there is a good chance the deal gets done.

Ornstein explained: “Depending on who you speak to, there is a expectation that it will eventually get done and it’s a game of poker with Barça who needs to raise funds but don’t want to relinquish their best player or show their hand. They want to rinse [them] for as much money as possible versus United who are staying calm.”

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United playing a dangerous game

Manchester United need to face reality that they may end up having to pay more than they would like, to land Frenkie de Jong.

De Jong is the top target identified by new manager Erik ten Hag, at a position where Manchester United are weak.

With this deal holding up the rest of the club’s transfer business, United will have to bite the bullet.

Pressure is beginning to build on United, with City, Liverpool, Tottenham and Arsenal all getting deals done already, and Gary Neville this week came out and said he was ‘worried’ by the club’s current inactivity.

The more pressure builds, the weaker United’s poker hand gets, as selling clubs will recognise the pressure increasing, and act accordingly.

It is a dangerous game for Manchester United to play, because the club are not in a position this summer to be able to afford a botched transfer window.

Photo by Ash Donelon/Manchester United via Getty Images

The club recorded a lowest ever Premier League points total last season, and have just brought in a highly rated new manager, who needs to be backed with his top targets.

If that means paying a little over the odds, then so be it. United have a very weak hand, and cannot afford to mess about.

Even the timing of signings makes a difference. Ten Hag ideally needs as many as possible as early as possible, before the pre-season tour. United have shown no signs so far that they are capable of delivering.

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