MANCHESTER UNITED have received a boost in their pursuit of long-time transfer target Frenkie de Jong, according to reports.
The Dutch midfielder, 26, was heavily linked with a reunion with Erik ten Hag in 2022 after the Ajax manager left for Old Trafford.
But after Barcelona accepted a £71.5million offer from the Red Devils, De Jong snubbed the chance to join the Premier League giants.
Now, though, reports are emerging that he could be open to a Man Utd switch in the summer, despite his contract running until 2026.
Journalist Lluis Canut has claimed the lack of trophies Barcelona have won since De Jong arrived at the Nou Camp – one LaLiga title, one Copa del Rey and one Spanish Super Cup – has left the midfielder frustrated.
Speaking to Esport3, Canut said: “De Jong has not given the green light, but he is no longer closing the door on leaving Barca as he did two seasons ago, when he had interest, especially from Manchester United, in going to play with the coach who had him at Ajax – Ten Hag.
“At the moment, De Jong is a little disappointed by the situation at Barca because he has not managed to turn the expectations that had been generated at the time when he signed into important titles.
“De Jong would be willing to leave Barca at the end of this season.”
He joined Barcelona in 2019 in a deal worth around £65m and has gone on to rack up 205 appearances, scoring 16 goals and assisting a further 21.
And he has been a key part of Xavi’s team this season, starting all but one LaLiga match he has been available for.
Yet Barca are struggling domestically as they sit eight points adrift of LaLiga pacesetters Real Madrid and have already been knocked out of the Copa del Rey.
They are into the last 16 of the Champions League where they will take on Napoli, but manager Xavi has already confirmed he will leave at the end of the season.
Meanwhile, De Jong last spoke about his future ahead of the 2023/24 campaign when he pledged his future to the Catalan club.
He told Voetbal International: “That has been clear to me, also last summer when things were restless for a while.
“I always knew that I wanted to stay at Barcelona. That’s why it wasn’t so stressful for me last summer.
“Also, I had just signed a contract extension [in 2020] so I always felt that I was in control and able to decide for myself.
“That’s why I didn’t bother [worrying about it]. I feel good at Barcelona and assume that I will still be playing here next season.”
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