Erik ten Hag made the 25-year-old his priority signing following his arrival from Ajax but has so far been unsuccessful in his attempts to entice his former player to Old Trafford.
What is the latest news involving De Jong?
Spanish outlet Sport have provided a recent update on De Jong’s situation, which appears to grow ever more convoluted as the weeks tick on.
They claim that the Netherlands international has no intention of agreeing to a salary reduction with Barca on his £164,000-per-week contract yet still wants to remain at the Camp Nou rather than move to the Premier League.
That is despite the Blaugrana agreeing a deal worth an initial £63 million, with a potential further £8.47m to be paid in add-ons, with United for his signature last month.
De Jong is owed an eye-watering £17m in deferred wages by Barca, though, and it’s believed the ongoing dispute between player and club is one of the reasons that the switch is stalling.
Meanwhile, Chelsea are also said to have entered the race for the elegant engine room operator, adding further issues for the Red Devils to contend with.
What has Crook said about De Jong?
United have endured a difficult transfer window, bringing in only Lisandro Martinez, Christian Eriksen and Tyrell Malacia at the time of writing.
An opening-day defeat to Brighton and Hove Albion emphasised the work that is still to be done if Ten Hag’s charges are to enjoy a successful season, and Crook believed they are ‘still relatively all in’ for De Jong.
He told GiveMeSport: “I think they’re still relatively all in. They believe it will happen still, once Barcelona sort out their financial side with the player.”
Do Man Utd need De Jong?
Ten Hag lined up with Fred at the base of midfield with Bruno Fernandes and Scott McTominay playing more advanced roles on either side of him against Brighton.
The setup failed to take control of proceedings, though, and Eriksen eventually found himself in the deepest role in order to help kickstart moves in midfield.
As per SofaScore, McTominay failed to make any key passes, lost possession 12 times, and has a passing accuracy of just 67%, while Fred didn’t fare too much better.
De Jong has showcased throughout his career at Ajax and Barcelona that he is capable of linking the defence to the midfield and the midfield to the attack, and based on Sunday’s evidence, he would surely be an upgrade on United’s current options.