Man Utd handed Frenkie de Jong transfer blow as Barcelona chief Laporta says ‘I’ve never wanted to sell him’ | The Sun

MANCHESTER UNITED have been dealt another blow in their pursuit of Frenkie de Jong, with Barcelona president Joan Laporta insistent that he does not want to sell the midfielder.

The Red Devils were heavily linked with a swoop for De Jong throughout the summer transfer window, but a move never came to fruition.

Manager Erik ten Hag was desperate to reunite with the former Ajax star and he even prepared an offer of at least £70million in an attempt to sign him from Barcelona.

However, Barca chief Laporta has now revealed that he never wanted to sell De Jong in the first place.

In an interview with Barca TV, he said: "I’ve never wanted to sell Frenkie de Jong. He has to be a pillar of the team."

Earlier this year, De Jong confirmed his desire to remain in Spain.

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He told The Guardian: "I’m very happy I’m at Barcelona: from a young age I’ve wanted to be here, so in that way it has been a dream come true.

"But I would have liked to win more trophies than we did in my first two years. I expected more in that sense, let’s put it that way.

"But other than that, I’m very happy here and hopefully [will be here] for many more years."

However, he recently informed Ten Hag that he would be "happy" to join Man Utd.

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After missing out on signing De Jong during the summer transfer window, the Red Devils added Casemiro and Christian Eriksen to their midfield ranks.

Tyrell Malacia, Lisandro Martinez and Antony also made the switch to Old Trafford, but Ten Hag is looking to make a few more additions come January.

United are reportedly interested in signing World Cup winner Enzo Fernandez from Benfica, but they will have to fork out over £105m for his services.

Another name on the transfer radar is PSV winger Cody Gakpo, who has been priced at around £50m.

PSV manager and former Man Utd striker Ruud van Nistelrooy is determined to to keep the Dutchman in Eindhoven until the summer, but he recently admitted that it will be difficult.

He said: "If I have the choice, I prefer the summer, but it can also be now, you know there comes a time when you can't say no.

"It is wonderful how he has showcased himself.

"I enjoyed watching him (at the World Cup), he deserves this because of how he has behaved, how he has continued to work and perform.

"I was able to help him from very close by and that makes me proud. I'll give him his path when it comes."

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