Man Utd ‘ready to accept defeat in pursuit of Barcelona’s De Jong’ with boss Ten Hag missing No1 target

MANCHESTER UNITED are reportedly ready to accept defeat in their pursuit of Frenkie de Jong.

The Red Devils have spent the better part of three months signing the former Ajax midfielder from Barcelona.

Frenkie de Jong's future has been the subject of intense speculation

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Frenkie de Jong’s future has been the subject of intense speculationPhoto credit: Rex

Boss Erik ten Hag made de Jong his No.1 target this summer and even once thought it was “unnecessary” to consider alternatives.

But according to the Mail, United have started to accept they won’t be able to sign the Dutch ace.

Ten Hag and co agreed a £72m deal for De Jong with Barca last month but the move fell through for a number of reasons.

The 25-year-old is unwilling to leave Barcelona until he is paid £17million in deferred wages owed to him.

Although he is also not interested in playing in Manchester without Champions League football.

United have now turned their attention to other targets and are pursuing a deal for Juventus ace Adrien Rabiot.

Club bosses have agreed a £15million fee for the France midfielder with Juve, although he now has to negotiate wages with his mother and agent Veronique.

Rabiot, 27, is reportedly set to move to Old Trafford after making more than £160,000 a week – where he believes the midfield is “weak”.

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As for De Jong, Chelsea have emerged as a more realistic place to land.

The midfield ace could play in the Champions League with the Blues but has to solve his problems with Barca first.

De Jong was snubbed by fans when he came to training this week. Reports from Spain suggest they were shouting, “Cut your salary, damn it.”

Barca haven’t been able to register their LaLiga signings ahead of Saturday’s opener against Rayo Vallecano and won’t be able to until they raise enough funds.

Should they not register them, free transfers Franck Kessie and Andreas Christensen could walk for free.

Barca want De Jong to stay but only if he accepts a big pay cut and just £6m of the £17m in deferred wages he’s owed.

The club claimed that his contract signed with the previous regime could even be legally invalid – sparking the anger of the Dutch players’ union, who claimed that De Jong could be the target of blackmail.

Chelsea are also interested in signing De Jong’s Barca teammate Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang.

The former Arsenal forward played under boss Thomas Tuchel and Borussia Dortmund, scoring 13 goals in 23 games after leaving the Gunners for Barcelona.

Chelsea are interested in Pierre Emerick Aubameyang

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Chelsea are interested in Pierre Emerick AubameyangPhoto credit: Rex

https://www.the-sun.com/sport/5975569/man-utd-transfer-barcelona-de-jong/ Man Utd ‘ready to accept defeat in pursuit of Barcelona’s De Jong’ with boss Ten Hag missing No1 target

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