Frenkie de Jong wants Champions League football, warns Fabrizio Romano

Manchester United’s reported hopes to sign Frenkie de Jong are complicated by his desire to play Champions League football next season.

Journalist Fabrizio Romano tell Five this is the key factor in the Dutch midfielder’s future, amid speculation he could leave Barcelona.

Spanish newspaper Sport reported a few days ago that new Manchester United boss Erik ten Hag would consider signing De Jong, who he managed at Ajax.

De Jong signed for Barcelona for £65 million in 2019 and has had a tough time, with the Spanish side going through a lean spell by their standards, while the emergence of Pedri and Gavi have potentially made him expendable.

Photo by David S. Bustamante/Soccrates/Getty Images

‘Complicated’

Romano told Five that he has been informed De Jong wants to play in Europe’s top competition, which it looks like Manchester United will not be a part of in 2022/23.

He said: “I’m told he wants to play Champions League football so I’m not sure he’s going to be an easy deal for Manchester United.

“Of course he’s [Ten Hag] a big fan of De Jong and it’s easy to have these great relationships but at the same point Xavi wants to keep the player, Barcelona want to keep him at the club and he wants to play Champions League football, so it’s going to be a very difficult one for Manchester United.”

He did concede that Ten Hag could still try to talk him around, adding: “Maybe Erik ten Hag can change his mind.”

Photo by David S. Bustamante/Soccrates/Getty Images

De Jong was substituted after 60 minutes last Sunday as Barcelona lost 1-0 to Rayo Vallecano, and the crowd were not too happy with him either.

It is worth pointing out that Barcelona are far from guaranteed Champions League football next season either, with five league games remaining.

While they sit in second place, they have lost two of their last three games and are only five points ahead of fifth placed Real Betis, so there could be a sting in the tail for their season too.

It is not very certain how keen United’s interest in De Jong is, with Ten Hag yet to begin work at Old Trafford. Midfield is a priority position the team need to upgrade, but there are various names floating around as potential arrivals, with a front runner yet to come to the fore.

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