Frenkie de Jong was linked with a move to Manchester United for almost the entirety of the 2022 summer transfer window.
De Jong was United’s top transfer target, with Erik ten Hag keen on signing the player who was once the midfield fulcrum of his Ajax side.
United chief executives Richard Arnold and John Murtough were even pictured in Barcelona when they held talks with the club, doing everything possible to attempt to pull off a deal.
A complicated move did not happen, despite The Athletic reporting Manchester United had an agreement with Barcelona over a deal. Simply put, De Jong chose to stay.
De Jong’s fiancee has her say
De Jong got his way and stayed in Barcelona. There were personal reasons for this. The Telegraph reported in August that his fiancee Mikky Kiemeney “in particular, is understood to be desperate to continue living in Barcelona.”
Rumors about a potential De Jong deal have persisted. The Manchester Evening News report United has ‘refused to rule out’ a summer 2023 move for the midfielder, potentially bringing him in to partner Casemiro.
De Jong’s fiancee held an Instagram ‘ask me anything’ this week and was asked when Frenkie de Jong will be coming to Manchester.
These were questions she would have heard all last summer. Except for this time, she was able to respond – bluntly providing the date of Barcelona’s upcoming Europa League game at Old Trafford later this month.
De Jong’s involvement in the two matches will be a big topic of discussion. It will be fascinating to see him take on United, who surely have answered any doubts he may have had over the Red Devils project, looking like a changed team under Ten Hag.
He explained in an interview after the transfer window that he was keen to stay in La Liga and admitted he had been at odds with his club.
He was quoted by Teamtalk: “I always wanted to stay in Barcelona and this is why I always remained calm in the summer.
“I can’t give too many details away. But look.. the club has its ideas and I have my ideas too. And sometimes these clash with each other. But at the end of the day, things went okay.”
Barcelona may be particularly pleased they kept hold of him. They are top of La Liga and could need De Jong against United, with Sergio Busquets sustaining an injury at the weekend which threatens to rule him out of both Europa League games.