Manchester United have suffered a setback in their pursuit of Barcelona’s Frenkie de Jong, with the midfielder saying he would prefer to stay at Camp Nou.
New United manager Erik ten Hag is keen on landing the Netherlands international as part of his Old Trafford rebuild, with the pair enjoying success during their time at Ajax together. However, De Jong has said he is eager to fight for his place with the Spanish giants.
De Jong told ESPN Netherlands’ Pascal Kamperman on Tuesday:
I prefer to stay with Barcelona.
Barcelona is just my dream club. Also from a young age. I just said it too. I’ve never regretted my choice despite the fact that I had hoped for more in terms of prizes than I’ve achieved so far. But I have never regretted my choice.
De Jong won the Dutch title and reached the Champions League semifinals under Ten Hag at Ajax before moving to Barca in 2019, but he has endured a difficult early spell at the club.
Barca finished a distant second in this season’s La Liga behind bitter rivals Real Madrid, who also won the Champions League, while Xavi’s side lost to Eintracht Frankfurt in the quarterfinals of the Europa League.