Manchester United transfer target Frenkie de Jong has been talking about his future again, this time in an interview with the Algemeen Dagblad.

The Barcelona midfielder has been linked with a move to United over the past three weeks, via The Guardian and Fabrizio Romano this week claimed talks have begun between the two clubs.

De Jong needs a little persuasion to join United, as he has been clear his preference is to stay at Barcelona.

But with the La Liga side’s financial issues potentially pushing a sale, De Jong may have to get his head around it, discussing the ‘logical’ Manchester United links.

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Speaking to the newspaper, De Jong spoke positively about Manchester United boss Erik ten Hag and says he understands the links to Old Trafford.

While his attitude towards a move appears to be softening, De Jong reiterated that his preference is to stay put.

He was asked if he worried about not playing at Manchester United, De Jong said he was optimistic he would be a success.

He said: “I have enough confidence in myself for that. I am not afraid of that at Barcelona either. I recently spoke extensively with the trainer [Xavi]. That was a very good conversation.”

Asked about United talks, he said: “I will not go into that. Not even about other names or clubs. I used to be naive and open-minded about it. I don’t do that anymore.

“I understand that that link is made. That sum is not that difficult, it is logical. I have enjoyed working with Ten Hag at Ajax – and I can’t look into the future, of course. But I prefer to stay at Barcelona.

“That has always been my dream club and it is still. As long as I don’t hear from the club management, I assume nothing is going on.”

Photo by Erwin Spek/Soccrates/Getty Images

De Jong may end up being told by Barcelona club management that he has to be sold, for the sake of the club financially, otherwise they will be unable to acquire their own transfer targets.

At 25, De Jong is a big asset for Barcelona in the market, who plays in a position where they have several options, including new signing Franck Kessie.

There is a case to be made that United should push for a player who doesn’t need persuading, with Ruben Neves a better option.

United desperately need to strengthen the midfield after releasing Paul Pogba and Nemanja Matic. The club are not prepared to give up on De Jong yet, and the Ten Hag connection may be key. But first, Barcelona need to push him out the door.

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