Frenkie de Jong ‘has not forgotten’ Barcelona attempting to sell him to Manchester United

Manchester United will come face to face with Frenkie de Jong this week in the Europa League, months after the Red Devils tried to sign him.

United spent several weeks between May and August attempting to sign De Jong, having been given encouragement a deal could be done.

Barcelona were happy to cash in on the midfielder due to a combination of their financial issues and desire to re-shape the squad. The Athletic reported a fee of £63 million was agreed between the two clubs at the start of July.

This was as far as United got. Frenkie de Jong refused to leave, as was his right, and has continued as part of the Barcelona squad.

As his fiancee pointed out last week, De Jong will finally head to Old Trafford for the return leg between the two teams next week, rather than to join the Red Devils.

De Jong remains but the trust has gone

Frenkie de Jong remains a Barcelona player, but Spanish newspaper AS report his faith in the club has been shredded by the situation last summer.

The newspaper report Joan Laporta was left angry by De Jong’s refusal to leave the club, a reaction the player is said to have noted.

“The Dutchman has not forgotten that, nor will he forget it,” the report reads adding that he “will not forget that they treated him like merchandise.”

When the season began, De Jong was not a regular starter. Barcelona had even tried to force him out in the summer by using him as a back-up centre-back in pre-season games.

The Netherlands international has stuck at it, and he looks set to play a key role in the matches against Manchester United, with Sergio Busquets out injured for the first leg.

AS praise his ‘professional’ approach despite his distrust of the Barcelona hierarchy.

The newspaper suggests it is probably unlikely Barcelona will attempt to sell him again after what happened last year, but De Jong is not exactly convinced.

If Manchester United do still want him, the club might be a lot more tempting to join this summer than the last.

While De Jong knew Erik ten Hag from his time at Ajax, United were coming off their worst ever Premier League season, and it was unclear how quickly the manager would be able to turn it all around.

Ten Hag is making strong progress, currently on course to clinch a Champions League spot. This was one of the reasons De Jong was unwilling to leave Barcelona last summer, for a Europa League side.

It is somewhat poetic then that De Jong will face United in the Europa League over the next two matches. Both teams and sets of players will be desperate to come out on top.

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