Man Utd ‘not afraid to walk away’ from Frenkie de Jong deal despite Darwin Nunez defeat

ten Hag: No 'risk' to come to Manchester United

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Manchester United chiefs are reportedly ‘not afraid to walk away’ from negotiations for Barcelona star Frenkie de Jong this summer despite losing out in the race for Benfica forward Darwin Nunez to Liverpool.

The Red Devils have been linked heavily with a move for the Dutchman given that fellow countryman Erik ten Hag has become the new boss at Old Trafford. With Paul Pogba, Juan Mata and Jesse Lingard departing the club and Nemanja Matic also likely to leave, United are in need of midfield reinforcements.

De Jong has been touted as one of those to replace the quartet, although it remains to be seen if a deal can be done for his services. And according to Goal’s James Robson, United chiefs are in talks for a deal to sign the star who is Ten Hag’s ‘top midfield target’.

But the report states that whilst the club are keen to sign him, they are not afraid to walk away from a deal if the Blaugrana set his price too highly. “United are in talks with Barca for De Jong,” Robson tweeted.

“He’s Ten Hag’s top midfield target – but, crucially, not his only one. Keen to get the deal done, but not afraid to walk away.” And this was instantly followed up with a tweet claiming that the club had admitted defeat to their bitter rivals as they hunt for a new attacker ahead of the new season.

“Looks like United are prepared to leave Liverpool to Nunez,” he continued. “[They] Do not want to get into a bidding war with Liverpool.”

United have a history of paying huge fees for players who many consider not to be worth the tag. Pogba was bought for a then-world record £87m back in 2016, although his lacklustre second spell at Old Trafford resulted in his departure this season.

Perhaps Ten Hag’s arrival is the reason as to why United are more hesitant not to be outdone in negotiations this summer given their need for a squad rebuild.

Other targets are thought to include Declan Rice and Kalvin Phillips. But with deals for the English duo looking hard to come by, there is a real impetus to sign a starting midfielder.

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