Manchester United manager Erik ten Hag has commented on the club's pursuit of Frenkie de Jong and stated that he still wants to bring in a defensive midfielder.
De Jong has been linked with a move to Old Trafford all summer. According to the Manchester Evening News, Barcelona are prepared to sell the Dutch midfielder to United. However, the 25-year-old prefers to stay at the Nou Camp instead of moving to the Premier League.
Ten Hag has stated that his side will only sign a player who fits their criteria. If they fail to do so, they will have to make do with the players already at their disposal.
He was quoted as saying the following (via The Athletic):
“We are looking for a player who can play in the holding midfield position, but it has to be the right one. There are not many in that position capable of the level we demand. When we can’t find him, we have to deal with the players in our squad now and we will develop one in that position.”
Ten Hag added when questioned about De Jong:
“I will not react on a certain player. We need the right player. We have a list and we qualify the player who has the competencies to play that role. We will strike the moment the player is available.”
It is worth mentioning that De Jong has been included in Barcelona's squad that has traveled to the United States for their pre-season tour. According to journalist Fabrizio Romano, Manchester United and Barcelona have agreed on a €85 million transfer fee, including add-ons, for the midfielder.
De Jong, however, has not yet agreed to personal terms with the Red Devils as his priority is to stay with the Catalan giants.
Manchester United have moved quickly in the transfer market
Manchester United have done some quick business in the summer transfer window after a slow start. As things stand, the Red Devils have already signed two players capable of challenging for a place in the first-team.
Full-back Tyrell Malacia was Manchester United's first signing for the Erik ten Hag era. The 22-year-old left-back was signed for £14.7 million from Dutch side Feyenoord.
Manchester United have also added two new players to their squad in quick succession. Christian Eriksen has arrived at Old Trafford on a free transfer, while they have reached an agreement with AFC Ajax for centre-back Lisandro Martinez.