Man Utd face another Frenkie de Jong transfer saga as ‘Newcastle rival interest’ | Football | Sport

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Manchester United could face a repeat of their long-winded pursuit of Barcelona midfielder Frenkie de Jong this summer, with Andreas Christensen reportedly on Erik ten Hag’s radar. The ex-Chelsea defender may be the subject of a transfer battle between United and Newcastle United but will likely need convincing over an exit.

In 2022, Ten Hag spent most of his first summer in charge at Old Trafford chasing De Jong after naming him his priority transfer target, having enjoyed a strong relationship at Ajax.

United ended months of negotiations by agreeing to a £63million deal with Barcelona for the Netherlands international, boosting the La Liga giants’ financial problems.

However, the move fell through due to De Jong’s reluctance to leave Catalonia for Manchester. United didn’t reignite their interest last summer and aren’t expected to do the same this year.

According to Sport, the Red Devils could return to Barcelona, though, with Christensen drawing interest amid his uncertain future at the Nou Camp.

It’s claimed that Newcastle joins United in showing strong admiration for the 27-year-old, who left Chelsea on a free transfer in 2022.

Ten Hag is set to recruit at least one centre-back this summer. Raphael Varane and Jonny Evans are out of contract, and Victor Lindelof will enter the final 12 months of his deal.

Caught Offside add that Barcelona could sell Christensen if a suitable offer arrives, but the Denmark international has shown reluctance to depart.

If that’s the case, United can’t risk another De Jong situation, where they lump all eggs into one basket throughout the transfer window before resorting to a panic buy in the dying embers to save face.

The £70m deal to sign Casemiro from Real Madrid in Ten Hag’s first summer worked wonders last season as the Brazil captain helped lift the Carabao Cup and finish third in the Premier League.

But the 32-year-old’s form has fallen off a cliff this term, and he is expected to be among those leaving Old Trafford as part of a summer clearout.

Sir Jim Ratcliffe’s new-look sporting structure will want to make a good impression ahead of their first full season at the helm.

The days of misguided transfer wormholes must end if United are to realise Ratcliffe’s dream of returning to the summit of English, European and world football.

United will have to replace Varane with a right-sided central defender, but players who want to join the club must be prioritised at the dawn of a new era.

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