Man Utd ‘return for Ed Woodward target’ as Frenkie de Jong continues to frustrate chiefs

Van de Beek determined to prove himself again under new Man Utd boss ten Hag

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Manchester United could reportedly be set to return for Sergej Milinkovic-Savic as they seek alternatives to Frenkie de Jong. The Serbian international was a top target for Ed Woodward in 2019 but the club were unable to negotiate a deal. 

Milinkovic-Savic was one of the most sought-after midfielders in world football three years ago after two impressive seasons at Lazio. Interest has cooled in the intervening period – but United could now be set to reignite their interest with no end to the long-running De Jong saga in sight. 

The midfielder has scored 58 goals in 258 appearances, contributing a further 51 assists since joining in 2019. He is also now the highest-scoring midfielder in the club’s history surpassing Pavel Nedved for the accolade. 

Now Calciomercato have reported that the Red Devils are ‘turning their attention’ to the 27-year-old as their plan B for De Jong. The Serie A club will not accept an offer below £59.5million. 

No formal offer has been made yet but manoeuvres are said to be happening behind the scenes. However, it is believed Lazio would struggle to hold onto the player should United come calling. 

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Milinkovic-Savic is content at the club he has represented for over seven years and is not pushing for a move – but with only two years left on his contract, there is a growing feeling from both parties that it may be the right moment to move on. 

Erik ten Hag’s long-running pursuit of Frenkie de Jong has hit the buffers in recent weeks with the player unsure he would like to link back up with his former boss at Old Trafford. The situation has been further complicated by Barcelona’s financial situation with the Dutchman reluctant to leave until he has received over £17m in deferred wages. 

Despite recent reports suggesting it was De Jong’s personal factors holding up the deal, Barcelona president Joan Laporta has been keen to stress the club have not accepted a bid for the star. 

“Frenkie de Jong is our player, we really like him,” he told ESPN. “We received some offers for Frenkie but we didn’t accept as of now, as we want to talk with him and know exactly what he wants. We need to clarify some aspects of his situation”.

United fans will be desperate to see a new name enter the midfield department given the club’s recent struggles in the area. The club will get their season underway against Brighton on 7th August. 

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