Frenkie de Jong, a midfielder for Barcelona, has revealed that despite Manchester United's long-standing interest in him, he has always wanted to remain with the Blaugrana.
This was revealed during the summer transfer window.
Man United swiftly identified De Jong as their top target to bolster their midfield options, according to the Manchester Evening News (MEN) in May.
The Netherlands international was eager to reunite with Man United manager Erik ten Hag at Old Trafford because they had previously worked together at Ajax.
At the end of June, Manchester United even reached an agreement with Barcelona to sign the 25-year-old, agreeing on an initial €65 million transfer fee.
However, the Red Devils were unable to advance with their quest to sign De Jong because he was owed €17 million in deferred wages.
Manchester United eventually ended up signing Casemiro from Real Madrid.
Speaking to reporters during a press conference ahead of the Netherlands’ clash with Poland on Thursday evening, De Jong opened up on why he did not leave Barcelona.
He said, “I always wanted to stay in Barcelona this summer, 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 own ideas and I have my own ideas, too, and sometimes these clash with each other. But at the end of the day, things went okay.
Despite being intent on staying at Barcelona, De Jong has struggled to nail down a regular place in manager Xavi’s plans so far this season.
“When I play less, I do notice it,” De Jong added. “Not really in terms of the technical aspect because you still know how to play football, but more so in the physical aspect.”