Frenkie De Jong sounds slightly less keen on Manchester United than they are with him, but Erik ten Hag has his heart set on a £50m reunion.
Manchester United do not seem to be taking the hint from Frenkie De Jong, who has stated in no uncertain terms that “I prefer to stay at Barcelona,” describing the Catalans as “the club of my dreams since I was little”.
It does not sound like he is prepared to leave for Europa League football as part of a wholesale rebuild but Erik ten Hag is ‘determined’ to capture the midfielder and ‘is hopeful he can convince him to change his mind,’ according to The Sun.
There should be little difficulty in persuading Barcelona, whose debts necessitate some degree of player sales this summer. The Spanish side want their money back as a bare minimum – the £67m paid to Ajax in 2019. But Manchester United reckon they can negotiate them down to £50m, and have thus ‘opened talks’.
Why are some fans bothered about having to persuade De Jong? He’s one of the best midfielders in Europe playing in the UCL and we want him to sign for the worst United squad ever scamming Europa League qualification. I’d be concerned if he didn’t need persuading.
— Mark Goldbridge (@markgoldbridge) May 28, 2022
JUST LUK-ING, NOT BUYING
Few transfers look likely to placate all parties involved than Romelu Lukaku returning to Inter Milan on loan. The Belgian remains a Nerazzurri favourite and Chelsea probably wouldn’t mind throwing in the towel if the money makes it worth it.
To that end, the Daily Mail stress that the Blues ‘will not write off the enormous fee’ they paid a year ago, ‘nor will they want to top up his wages’ if he takes a pay cut to return to Italy.
But Lukaku is willing to take a hit to his Chelsea wages and downgrade to a salary comparable to the one he took home at Inter. He is ‘clearly keen’ to head back to happier climes. The Serie A side are ‘interested’ in a loan move as they cannot afford anything more permanent. And provided it makes financial sense for Chelsea and allows them to bring in a replacement, it could happen.
JULES IN THE CROWN
A busy summer inevitably lies ahead for Chelsea as Todd Boehly seeks to make his mark as owner. But one of the club’s main targets remains the same as it was under Roman Abramovich. The Blues still really want Jules Kounde.
That desire has been exacerbated by the exit of Antonio Rudiger, as well as the likely departures of Andreas Christensen and Cesar Azpilicueta as free agents. Pursuing a deal for Kounde is therefore ‘not a problem’.
Spanish outlet Sport add that Chelsea want the deal done as quickly as possible, to fend off interest from Barcelona and perhaps to give Seville enough time to replace their entire central defence after Diego Carlos joined Aston Villa.
- Inter got me out of ‘deep hole’ at Man Utd claims Lukaku
- ‘Signs indicate’ Chelsea won’t sign Kounde in report clash
- Kounde: Barca want loan or player-plus-cash deal; Newcastle trying to ‘tempt’ him; Chelsea still keen