The Red Devils have got their season off to a nightmare start, with their opening day 2-1 defeat to Brighton & Hove Albion being followed up with a 4-0 hammering at the hands of Brentford, and boss Erik ten Hag could fail to sign one of his primary targets.
What’s the latest news involving de Jong?
Manchester United thought they had made a breakthrough in negotiations when a £63million agreement was reached with Barcelona last month, but de Jong’s switch failed to go through.
That could prove costly as, according to Spanish sources, Chelsea are close to rubber-stamping a deal worth more than £68million.
Despite that development, 90min have revealed that Manchester United are not giving up without a fight and are still desperate to secure de Jong’s services.
The report suggests ten Hag has held discussions with the 44-cap Netherlands international on a number of occasions.
Manchester United’s insistence could pay off as de Jong has reportedly told his Barcelona team-mates that a move to Old Trafford may be on the cards before the September 1 deadline passes.
What has Pete O’Rourke said about de Jong?
Although Manchester United have pulled out of the running to sign Bologna striker Marko Arnautovic after a £7.6million bid was rejected and former players privately expressed concerns, they are still in the hunt for de Jong’s signature.
O’Rourke feels the Red Devils need to get the deal over the line if they want to avoid being humiliated by the £164,000-per-week star.
The journalist told GIVEMESPORT: “I don’t think you can blame ten Hag too much. Obviously, he has just come into the club. There is a recruitment team at Manchester United who are in charge of bringing players in, obviously, with the input of the manager.
“The Arnautovic deal just seemed a bit desperate, a lot of people were thinking. Now that deal is off.
“The de Jong one has been a saga and it would be pretty embarrassing for Manchester United if he doesn’t end up going to Old Trafford this summer because they’ve worked so hard to try and get it done.”
Why would it be an embarrassment if Manchester United missed out on de Jong’s signature?
Manchester United would have thought the appointment of ten Hag as the club’s new boss would have made a deal for de Jong more simple.
That is because the Dutchman previously managed the 25-year-old during their time together at Ajax, but that has not been enough to convince de Jong so far.
Seeing the central midfielder join Premier League rivals Chelsea or stay at Barcelona, who are applying pressure to accept a wage reduction or leave the Nou Camp by claiming there were irregularities in his contract renewal, would be a kick in the teeth for Manchester United.