Manchester United made a lot of impressive additions to their squad in the summer in the form of Casemiro, Antony, Lisandro Martinez and Christian Eriksen. But one player that they could not sign, and who was believed to have been their top target is Frenkie de Jong of FC Barcelona.
De Jong was the subject of a lot of interest this summer and was also believed to have been wanted by Chelsea. But ultimately, a move did not happen and he stayed on at Barcelona, which was always rumoured to have been his first choice.
At several points in the transfer window, rumours emerged that he was close to a move to Manchester United or was interested in a move to Chelsea, but it does not look like that was the case at all and the Dutchman had been very clear about his intentions to stay at Camp Nou.
While speaking with NOS, De Jong said regarding the summer transfer window:
"“I had already decided in May that I wanted to stay. So I was very calm myself.”"
Manchester United-linked De Jong reveals that he had decided in May that he wanted to remain at Barcelona
It is safe to say that De Jong is currently in an interesting situation at Barcelona. He is not a regular starter for the Camp Nou giants and only starts in about half of their games.
If he had ended up at either Manchester United or Chelsea though, it is very probable that those clubs would have built their teams around him in the middle of the park. At Old Trafford, there was also the added incentive of working with Erik ten Hag again.
Thus, De Jong’s choice to stay at Barcelona is very interesting indeed and perhaps a bit confusing as well, considering his lack of minutes at the club. The La Liga club were also believed to have been very open to the prospect of him leaving.