Manchester United have been told by Barcelona president Joan Laporta that Frenkie de Jong is “not for sale” – but it’s a little more complicated than that.
Laporta is seeking to eke out as much money as possible from the Red Devils – despite an outline of a fee being negotiated between the two clubs – because Barca owe payment on the Dutchman’s contract which he elected to defer during the covid crisis…it’s to the the tune of £17million, so hardly pocket change.
Despite Laporta’s bullish statement on Wednesday, United remain confident that a deal will be reached to bring Erik ten Hag’s No.1 target to Old Trafford.
Whether he’ll be joined next term by Cristiano Ronaldo is anyone’s guess however. The Portuguese icon made clear his desire to depart at the weekend and was allowed to miss Monday’s return for pre-season training. When will he make his return?
Cristian Eriksen is set to arrive soon too. The Dane has agreed a deal in principle having left Brentford at the end of last season.
So for all of that and much more, stick with Mirror Football to keep up-to-date with Thursday’s transfer news and gossip from Old Trafford as it happens…
Antony’s Man Utd ‘fears’
De Jong Latest
So, first up, what’s the latest with Frenkie de Jong?
Joan Laporta has spoken out and been particularly bullish – but his comments hardly match up with what’s actually going on between Barcelona and United.
We’ve laid it all out in our state of play right here.
It couldn’t be explained any better!
Here’s to Thursday.
Thanks for joining us for Wednesday’s Manchester United news.
We’ll be back with more transfer updates and rumours on Thursday morning.
See you then!
Neville slams Johnson… again
Manchester United legend Gary Neville branded Boris Johnson “mad and dangerous” after the Prime Minister refused to resign in midweek.
The end appears to be near for Johnson’s premiership after a number of cabinet ministers visited 10 Downing Street – including Michael Gove, Transport Secretary Grant Shapps and the newly-appointed Chancellor Nadhim Zawahi – and advised him to stand down on Wednesday evening.
That came just one day after ex-Chancellor Rishi Sunak and former Health Secretary Sajid Javid resigned in the wake of the Chris Pincher scandal. More than 40 Tory MPs have quit the government after Johnson admitted his regret at appointing Pincher to a government role.
De Gea drops Ronaldo hint
David de Gea appears to have nailed his colours firmly to the Harry Maguire mast after the Manchester United captain escalated his tensions with teammate Cristiano Ronaldo.
On Wednesday, Maguire’s account was one of 25,000 which was seen to have ‘liked’ an Instagram post claiming Ronaldo is upset with the state of play at Old Trafford.
The Portugal captain, 37, is reportedly unhappy he has had to take a substantial pay cut after the Red Devils missed out on Champions League qualification.
In a fresh development later on Wednesday, Maguire was pictured watching England’s Lionesses at Old Trafford as they opened Women’s Euro 2022 with a fixture against Austria. Sitting alongside the former Leicester man was United goalkeeper De Gea.
England win at Old Trafford!
Beth Mead’s first-half strike was enough for Sarina Wiegman’s side to pick up three points at the home of Manchester United. The Lionesses have never won a major international tournament and are hoping to end their wait later this month.
England’s next clash is against Norway at The Amex on Monday before their final group game against Northern Ireland at St Mary’s on July 15. Here, Mirror Football list the five main talking points from a nervy tournament opener for the host nation.
More on Ronaldo’s Bayern blow
Cristiano Ronaldo has been rejected by Bayern Munich as his options for a new club continue to reduce following his request to leave Manchester United.
The Portugal captain is ready to leave the Red Devils just a year after he returned to Old Trafford in a sensational move from Juventus. Though he enjoyed an impressive individual season, United were dreadful, finishing sixth in the Premier League.
But there appear to be few clubs who would want to sign the 37-year-old, given the way his time at both Juve and United have gone. Before submitting his transfer request, Ronaldo’s agent Jorge Mendes had held talks with both Chelsea and Bayern over a potential move.
The Bundesliga champions may want to sign a replacement for the wantaway striker Robert Lewandowski. Ronaldo has been touted an option to take the Polish international’s place if he completes an expected move to Barcelona.
But Bayern chief executive Oliver Kahn has now poured cold water on Ronaldo’s desire to move to the Allianz Arena. He told Kicker: “As much as I appreciate Cristiano Ronaldo as one of the greatest, a transfer would not fit into our philosophy.”
Live football at Old Trafford!
The opening game of the Women’s Euros is currently taking place at Old Trafford!
England are leading Austria 1-0 thanks to Beth Mead’s opener.
Bayern rule out Ronaldo
Bayern Munich CEO Oliver Kahn has ruled out any move for Cristiano Ronaldo following his transfer request at Manchester United.
“As much as I appreciate Cristiano Ronaldo as one of the greatest,” Kahn said. “A move would not fit into our philosophy.”
Ronaldo won’t get transfer wish
Manchester United’s floundering transfer business continues to lead Cristiano Ronaldo to the exit door at Old Trafford.
The 37-year-old has handed in a bombshell transfer request after growing disillusioned with the Red Devils, who failed to qualify for the Champions League last season and have only made one signing in the summer window.
Ronaldo had reportedly been holding out hope that United would acquire their top target, Frenkie de Jong, in order to kickstart new manger Erik ten Hag ‘s reign.
But now his and Ten Hag’s hopes have been dashed, with Barcelona president Joan Laporta adamant the Catalans won’t sell the Dutch midfielder unless they’re forced to. “Frenkie is not for sale. He is a Barcelona player,” Laporta declared in a press conference on Wednesday. “There are offers but that’s not the case. We don’t want to sell.”
Guardiola’s role in De Jong move
The most protracted transfer saga of the summer has taken a fresh twist, with Barcelona said to want to sign Manchester City’s Bernardo Silva before letting Frenkie de Jong move to Manchester United.
The Daily Express claim sources in Spain say De Jong is new United boss Erik ten Hag’s number one transfer target this summer, but report that Barca are digging their heels in and are insisting any deal is done on their terms, causing frustration at Old Trafford.
Scholes makes damning observation
Manchester United legend Paul Scholes has warned the early stages of Erik ten Hag’s reign could descend into a “circus” if Cristiano Ronaldo’s future isn’t resolved.
Ex-Red Devils midfielder Scholes re-posted a news article claiming that United officials are concerned Ronaldo may not attend the club’s pre-season tour of Thailand and Australia. The retired United legend added his own comment alongside the repost that read: “Let the circus begin”.
The Portuguese forward only re-joined the club less than 12 months ago but is now angling for an Old Trafford exit with a year still left to run on his current contract. Ronaldo has sparked further outrage and confusion among the United faithful by not reporting for pre-season training as of yet.
Man Utd’s Antony bid rejected
Manchester United’s opening bid for Antony has been rejected after the Premier League club fell nearly £20million short of Ajax’s valuation.
The Brazilian winger, 22, is one of Erik ten Hag’s main transfer targets after flourishing under the new United boss at Ajax last season. He scored 12 goals in all competitions, helping the Amsterdam outfit win the Eredivisie title for a second successive season.
Antony was named the Eredivisie’s Talent of the Month in December and has broken into Brazil’s senior team, winning nine caps to date. He is expected to be part of their squad for the World Cup in Qatar and helped them win gold at the Olympics last summer.
United made a €60m (£51m) bid for Antony but Ajax are holding out for €80m (£68m).
Lingard heading to US
Former Manchester United and England midfielder Jesse Lingard is reportedly set to head to America for ‘groundbreaking’ transfer talks with Major League Soccer clubs.
Lingard, 29, is currently a free agent after his 22-year association with the Red Devils came to an end officially last week.
He was one of numerous players to leave the club for nothing alongside the likes of Paul Pogba, Juan Mata and Edinson Cavani with United set for a major summer overhaul following Ten Hag’s arrival.
Ronaldo trolled by Liverpool Airport
Liverpool Airport has offered Cristiano Ronaldo a Manchester escape route with a cheeky tweet.
The veteran forward, 37, reportedly wants to leave Manchester United if they receive an offer for him this summer. Ronaldo is said to be disappointed with the club’s lack of ambition in the summer transfer window and wants to play in the Champions League next season.
United will be competing in the Europa League in the upcoming campaign after finishing sixth in the Premier League last term. Ronaldo still has 12 months remaining on his existing deal and new manager Erik ten Hag has previously confirmed he’s in his plans.
Nonetheless, uncertainty surrounds the Real Madrid legend’s future – and Liverpool Airport pounced on the ongoing transfer saga to get one over their local rival. A tweet read: “Itching to get out of Manchester, but want to avoid the queues?”
“We happily invite Cristiano to try the North West’s Faster, Easier, Friendlier Airport, where he can connect on to Munich or Lisbon with Lufthansa, or fly Ryanair direct to Paris or Rome.”
Maguire drops Ronaldo hint
Harry Maguire’s Instagram account was one of 25,000 to ‘like’ a post highlighting Cristiano Ronaldo’s upset at the squad’s recent pay cut – eagle-eyed Manchester United fans noticed.
The post mentioned how Ronaldo has been forced to reduce his salary due to the fact the Red Devils missed out on Champions League qualification last term.
United’s iconic number seven was pocketing a rumoured £480,000-per-week last season, but that number will now drop to £360,000 while the Red Devils operate in the Europa League – much to the player’s frustration.
Maguire’s account being seen among the ‘likes’ section of the post is not going to quell reports of an unhappy dressing room in the red half of Manchester.
The campaign just gone was littered with leaked reports of infighting and internal unrest among the United playing squad – including clashes between Maguire and Ronaldo.
Murphy doubles down on Eriksen views
Danny Murphy has responded to his own Christian Eriksen comments ahead of the midfielder’s transfer to Manchester United.
Murphy, who played 246 times for Liverpool between 1997 and 2004 in all competitions and won nine caps for England, spoke in an interview on talkSPORT on Monday. He said that while Eriksen is a good player and “easy on the eye,” claimed he’s not world-class and that he’d be an “underwhelming” signing for United.
Now, Murphy has responded to the comments he made about Eriksen, who impressed at Brentford at the back end of last season, having returned to football after suffering a cardiac arrest while playing for Denmark at the European Champions last year.
Man Utd unsure if Ronaldo will be on pre-season tour
Manchester United are unsure whether Cristiano Ronaldo will be part of the squad for their upcoming pre-season tour, according to Sky Sports News.
The Red Devils are set to fly on Friday with a tour of Thailand and Australia planned.
Ronaldo reportedly wants to leave Old Trafford.
Antony ‘negotiations’ stagnant
Negotiations for Antony’s proposed switch to Manchester United are ‘stagnant’, according to Thiago Fernandes.
United tried to advance a deal worth €60m, but face resistance from Ajax, who want close to €80m.
De Jong wants to stay at Barcelona
Manchester United’s pursuit of Frenkie De Jong is moving very slow because the player wants to stay at Barcelona.
That’s according to Fabrizio Romano, who says the 25-year-old is hoping to stay and fight for his place at the Catalan giants, rather than make the switch across to Old Trafford.
Lingard ‘to travel to USA for MLS talks’
Jesse Lingard could be on his way to the MLS this summer following his release from Manchester United.
That’s according to ESPN, who believe Lingard is attracting interest from clubs in the United States and the player is expected to travel over to the country for negotiations over a possible move.
West Ham United and Everton reportedly remain keen on a switch for the 29-year-old, who is a free agent.
Two MLS sides are also interested and are set to meet Lingard and his representatives to pitch what have been described as “ground-breaking” deals.
Man Utd stance on Ronaldo
Manchester United remain adamant that Cristiano Ronaldo is not for sale this summer despite being linked with free agent Paulo Dybala as a possible replacement.
Ronaldo is the only United player yet to return to pre-season training as doubts grow as to whether he will be back at the club in time for the start of their pre-season tour.
Reports in Italy have, meanwhile, linked Dybala with a move to United three years after a potential transfer fell through.
Barcelona president makes De Jong statement
Barcelona president Joan Laporta has admitted he does not want to sell Frenkie de Jong to Manchester United ‘unless he has to’.
He said, via Fabrizio Romano: “Frenkie de Jong is Barcelona player – we don’t want to sell him unless we have no other choice. Of course we know there are offers for de Jong – but we don’t want to sell him.”
Murphy believes Ronaldo exit is “inevitable”
Cristiano Ronaldo’s exit from Manchester United is “inevitable” according to former Liverpool and England midfielder Danny Murphy.
Murphy, speaking on behalf of 888 told Mirror Football: “It could suit both parties in the end. There’s obviously lots of factors around that. How do they replace Ronaldo’s goals? Who do they bring in?
“That is the key. If they can get somebody who they feel is capable of filling that role if he was to leave then it would suit both.
“There is another factor in that of course, how does Ten Hag want to play? Does he want to press from the front and play high energy and high tempo?
“If he does, then of course, that’s not conducive to what Ronaldo wants to do because of his age and at his time of life, he wants to save his energy for making runs when they’ve got the ball and using his energy to score goals and win games. That’s also a factor.”
Morgan makes Ronaldo statement
He told The Sun : “He wasn’t the ‘problem’ – he was the only thing stopping United from battling relegation. The real problem was the shockingly unmotivated collection of ineffectual, mentally weak wastrels around him.
“Why should Ronaldo waste another second of his phenomenally valuable time and talent trying to elevate a bunch of over-paid, pampered, prima donna spoiled brats to his level when so many of them just aren’t interested?”
Van Persie reacts to Malacia signing
Robin van Persie believes Manchester United are getting a “very talented” left-back in Tyrell Malacia after he completed his £15m switch to Old Trafford from Feyenoord on Tuesday.
“Hey Tyrell! It’s Robin here. I would like to congratulate you on your fantastic move to Manchester United, this big moment in your career,” Van Persie told Feyenoord’s official Twitter page.
“So, to all Red Devils fans, you’re not only getting a very talented full-back but also a fantastic person. Be nice to him, support him in good times and bad times – he will give absolutely everything for you guys.”
Ronaldo ‘not in Man Utd training’
Cristiano Ronaldo has not turned up to Manchester United training for the third successive day after he was scheduled to begin pre-season on Monday morning.
The 37-year-old was granted extra time off due to personal reasons and the club still do not know whether he will be with the squad for their pre-season tour of Thailand and Australia.
Ronaldo timing described ‘awful’ at Man Utd
The timing of Cristiano Ronaldo wanting to leave Manchester United has been described as ‘awful’ by some close to the club, according to the Athletic’s Laurie Whitwell.
Ronaldo knew United would not be playing in the Champions League back in April but waited until July to express his intentions.
Juventus set to sign Pogba
Paul Pogba left Manchester United this summer and it looks like his next club will soon be confirmed.
Sky Sports say the Frenchman has agreed a four-year deal to return to his former side Juventus and he is expected in Turin on Saturday for a medical and to formally sign the contract.