Frenkie de Jong is having a brilliant debut FIFA World Cup with the Netherlands, who had previously failed to make it to the competition’s 2018 edition. The 2010 runners-up have so far collected 4 points from 2 group games, with a win and a draw against Senegal and Ecuador respectively. Although a win against the South American side would have ensured their qualification to the knockouts, Ecuador were just too hot to handle for Louis van Gaal’s side.
They will now need a win or a draw in their final group game which comes against the hosts Qatar, who have lost both of their outings against Ecuador and Senegal. De Jong and his teammates will still want to finish their group stage campaign on a high with a win and emerge as the table toppers to go through to the Round of 16. Meanwhile, the 25-year-old Barcelona midfielder hasn’t been able to evade questions on his future with the Catalan side, after Manchester United links returned in recent weeks.
Frenkie de Jong offers blunt response on United links
Frenkie de Jong to Manchester United was almost done in the summer, after the Red Devils had tabled a package in the range of £72 million for him in front of Barcelona. The Catalans too had green-light the move, since they needed a massive cash injection to balance their reeling financial books. United’s new manager, and De Jong’s former coach Erik ten Hag was the one pushing for the deal since the duo enjoyed a couple of productive years at Ajax.
However, to his former manager’s surprise, De Jong refused every offer United made since he made it clear it was his dream to play for Barcelona and continue at the club. Also there were a number of other reasons as well, with the midfielder wanting to play UEFA Champions League with Barca, than the Europa with United, a tournament which he will anyways have to play now with his current employers and face the Red Devils in a Round of 16 play-off.
Furthermore, the former Ajax player was also angry with the club for not paying his £17 million salary which they owed him after he took a pay-cut. And Barca were further asking him to take another salary-reduction in order to stay at Camp Nou. De Jong finally stayed back at the club of his ‘dreams’, with United moving on as well, buying Real Madrid’s Casemiro with their ‘Frenkie de Jong funds’. However, with the United links back on the radar, the Holland midfielder was once again quizzed on his future, to which he bluntly responded:
“I am at a World Cup tournament [with the national team]. I am not going to talk about club football.”
Frenkie de Jong gave a stern reply to the reporters in the Netherlands’ presser as he evidently wants to focus on his debut World Cup. However, United are reportedly back for him, rather it won’t be false to say that they never gave up on his pursuit. Ten Hag is reportedly not content with Casemiro’s signing, since he wants a long term solution in that position than a 30-year-old player.
Moreover, after Cristiano Ronaldo terminated his contract with the club, with forgoing his payout, United have saved themselves a significant amount of around £20 million. And with more clarity on Ten Hag’s mind now that he doesn’t have to deal with the Portuguese forward’s tantrums, he wants his project back on track at Old Trafford. The Dutchman is eyeing more recruitments to his side, with Frenkie de Jong still on top of his priority list. However, a January deal for the midfielder is not being expected, as United first want to bring in Ronaldo’s replacement.