Romano claims Manchester United have begun direct talks over signing De Jong

Manchester United have started direct talks with Barcelona over the signing of Dutch international Frenkie de Jong, according to Fabrizio Romano on Twitter.

United have been linked with the midfielder since Erik ten Hag’s appointment as manager and the pair of course worked together at Ajax.

He recently said he wants to stay at Barcelona and Romano says that stance has not shifted despite this development.

But Barca’s financial issues seems to give United confidence that they can get a deal done at a decent price despite the player’s reluctance.

Photo by Jeroen Meuwsen/BSR Agency/Getty Images

United start direct talks to sign de Jong

Should United really be trying to target players who do not want to come, especially in such a public manner?

The bare minimum for ten Hag next season is that he puts together a squad which is prepared to put in 100 per cent for the shirt.

That will get the fans back on the side of the players, after a season where too many performances have dropped below par.

If ten Hag’s first big signing was someone United have had to work this hard to convince, rather than someone who is desperate to be at Old Trafford, there will be doubts.

United start direct talks to sign de Jong

That said, we are seemingly a long way from that point, with plenty to do if de Jong is to be wearing a red shirt next season.

If Barcelona did not have their financial worries, United would have no chance.

Their money troubles offer United a chance to sign the 25-year-old, but it remains to be seen how well the club’s new regime negotiates.

De Jong’s desire for Champions League football is another stumbling block, with United of course set for a return to the Europa League next term.

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Sam Preston is an NCTJ gold standard news and sports journalist who studied with the Press Association. He also has a 2:1 law with French law degree from the University of Birmingham, which included a year studying at Bordeaux Montaigne University. He is an FA Level 1 football coach who appeared on the BBC’s Victoria Derbyshire show in 2018 and has also written digital football content and match-day programme pieces for Colchester United, Mansfield Town and Stockport County.