Erik ten Hag should heed transfer warning amid Man Utd's fruitless Frenkie de Jong chase

Erik ten Hag has been chasing a deal for Frenkie de Jong in recent weeks, but Manchester United have to move on if the Dutchman isn’t convinced on a switch to Old Trafford

Erik ten Hag is still waiting to bolster his new squad
Erik ten Hag is still waiting to bolster his new squad

It’s a brand new regime at Manchester United – but the club are still being plagued by the same old issues in the transfer market.

On paper, Erik ten Hag has all the tools required to help revive an ailing club that has spent far too long embracing mediocrity. However, the Dutchman is no miracle worker and he’ll struggle if United continue to dawdle in the race to bring new faces into the club.

It’s no secret that the current playing squad at United is in need of a an extensive shake-up. A host of experienced pros, including Paul Pogba, Juan Mata and Jesse Lingard, have already left a team that already sorely needed some fresh blood.

But despite that being common knowledge, United are yet to make a single move in the transfer market. Chelsea are the only other member of the Premier League’s ‘Big Six’ yet to make a signing, but they have mitigating circumstances – United’s lack of activity is much harder to defend; this is a club that needs extensive surgery, not a simple nip and tuck.

And with pre-season looming on the horizon, the time is fast approaching for the club to make some difficult transfer decisions. Ten Hag’s primary summer target, Frenkie de Jong has seemingly made it clear that he has no desire to leave Barcelona; a stance he already outlined earlier in the summer break. De Jong would be an exceptional signing for the club, but if he has no interest in joining them, then it’s pointless to continue pursuing him.

And even if time was on United’s side and he does prove to be attainable, do the club want a player whose heart isn’t really in it? United’s recruitment has been poor in recent years and has been a major contributing factor in their slide down the domestic pecking order. Former United defender Mikael Silvestre – a four-time Premier League winner and a member of the infamous treble-winning squad – has called on United to learn their lessons and chase players with the right mentality to turn the club around rather than blockbuster names.

Join the debate! Do you think Man Utd should stop chasing a deal for De Jong? Let us know here.

Frenkie de Jong doesn’t appear to be keen on a move to Manchester United

Speaking to The Daily Star, Silvestre said: “Everybody had the same view and the same values. We were united to win. That was down to the manager, the history of the club and recruitment. Sometimes you go for the ‘bling-bling’ players rather than players with the right spirit, the type of players who are maybe underrated but you know will fight for the team no matter what. Right now we look maybe too much on data performance – we don’t look for the right mentality.”

United need to bear that in mind over the coming weeks when they finally get down to business in the market. But if they don’t kick into gear soon, then decisions will be made for them as they’ll be a dearth of available options.

Chasing someone who isn’t even convinced by the project on offer hardly seems like the type of character that United should be building their new team around.

The United of old wouldn’t have even entertained the idea of signing a player who didn’t want to join the club, let alone waste months chasing them. United need to remember they’re still a big club – and they need to start acting like it, because they’re lagging far enough behind their rivals already.

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