- Dutch midfielder targeted in 2022
- Ended up staying at Camp Nou
- Red Devils have other areas to address
WHAT HAPPENED? The Red Devils spent much of the summer window in 2022 attempting to put a transfer deal in place for the Netherlands international. He displayed little desire to make a move to Old Trafford, despite having previously worked with Erik ten Hag at Ajax, and ended up seeing the deadline pass with no agreement being reached. There has been talk of United rekindling their interest in the 25-year-old, but Cole sees no reason for them to be dragged into another long-running saga.
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WHAT THEY SAID: The 1999 Treble winner has told King Casino Bonus: “I look at it from the outside, is Frenkie de Jong the midfield player that could do a job for Manchester United? No he's not. De Jong is a very good player and there is no disputing that, but if you look at last season's transfer saga and you have to wonder why would Manchester United want to put themselves in that position again?
"They need to go for players who actually want to come to the club like Casemiro did. Going in for De Jong again makes them look desperate, this is Manchester United football club we're talking about here, if you don't want to play for them then move on to your next option. It's not like Manchester United is a non-league football club, the answer to the move should be yes or no, not a maybe.
“I'm looking at the two games Barcelona played against Manchester United and you can see they were not the better team. But if they win La Liga, De Jong will be thinking what's the point in him leaving Barcelona, especially if they fix their financial problems. I just want Manchester United to know they can go out there and attract any top player. It's not about money, these top players that are available will all be fought for and paid a decent wage anyway, so that makes no difference any more.
"Players will look at their chances to win the Premier League, FA Cup or League Cup and the Champions League. Everyone wants to win their domestic league and Champions League. Look at Real Madrid's form in La Liga compared to when they play in the Champions League, it's like they play two separate teams but it's just a case of mentality.”
THE BIGGER PICTURE: De Jong has continued to be quizzed on links to United since passing up the chance to head for England and recently reiterated that he remains “very happy” at Barcelona.
IN THREE PHOTOS:GETTYGetty
WHAT NEXT? While United may remain keen on De Jong, they are well-stocked in the midfield department and are expected to prioritise the signing of a new No.9 in the summer transfer window – with the Red Devils already being heavily linked with Tottenham talisman Harry Kane and Napoli sensation Victor Osimhen.