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Manchester United target Frenkie de Jong would turn down the opportunity to move to Old Trafford in January because of the English weather, according to his father. The Barcelona midfielder has been heavily linked with a mid-season exit in recent weeks, with the Red Devils among the clubs said to be weighing up an approach for his services.
De Jong joined the Catalan giants in the summer of 2019 but appears to be facing an uncertain future at the Nou Camp ahead of the new year.
The 24-year-old has come under fire as a result of his muted performances in the middle of the park as of late.
United are thought to be one of several European clubs with an interest in De Jong, who still has five years left to run on his current deal with Barcelona.
The Red Devils have been on the lookout for a new deep-lying midfielder for some time and were keen on strengthening in the position at the end of the summer transfer window.
However, they opted to channel the majority of their remaining funds into a late move for Cristiano Ronaldo after splashing over £100million on the signings of Jadon Sancho and Raphael Varane.
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United have since been widely tipped to act on their desire to land de Jong in January, but the player’s father, John, has already suggested that a move to England could be outside the realms of possibility.
“It’s often bad weather there. Of course, it’s about football, but it does matter,” he told Algemeen Dagblad.
“Of course, I know that Barcelona needs money and a great offer for Frenkie could help, but I don’t see it happening any time soon.
“Although, five top European clubs have all called.”
De Jong has featured heavily for Barcelona this season, making 19 appearances in all competitions since the beginning of the campaign.
Xavi, who replaced Ronald Koeman in the dugout earlier this year, recently suggested that the Dutch midfielder will not be allowed to leave the club in January as a result of his importance to the side.
“He is definitely not in the shop window, rather the opposite,” the Barcelona boss told reporters. “The idea is to make him stronger here.”
Meanwhile, former Arsenal striker Kevin Campbell has already urged United to launch a move for de Jong, insisting that his current employers could still be tempted by a big-money offer in spite of their reluctance to sell him.
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“If a club is struggling then there will be other teams looking to take advantage and get your best players,” Campbell told Football Insider.
“Man United have virtually unlimited resources. Frenkie de Jong is a top player. I’ve watched him for a couple of seasons and he would be excellent at Old Trafford.
“I think Barca are going to find it extremely hard to hold on to him.”
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