Man Utd transfer news: United give in and finally identify a ‘serious’ alternative to De Jong | Soccer | sport

Manchester United are now considering Napoli midfielder Fabian Ruiz as a ‘serious alternative’ to Frenkie de Jong as the Red Devils finally begin to assess possible backup options for the Dutchman. Erik ten Hag and the hierarchy at Old Trafford have been stubborn in their approach, insisting that until a deal is totally dead in the water, De Jong will remain United’s transfer priority.

But little progress has been made after 12 weeks of solid work on the deal, despite the fee agreement with Barcelona.

United have already shaken hands on a £72million package including add-ons, but De Jong has remained consistent on his desire to stay in Catalonia.

Now Goal are reporting that United could draw attention to Spain international Ruiz, who is seen as a ‘serious alternative’ by the club.

Ruiz is in the final year of his contract at Napoli and could face a difficult season after failing to agree a new contract.

READ MORE: Man Utd boss Erik ten Hag ‘chooses centre-back pairing’ for Brighton clash

De Jong wants to play in Europe’s elite club competition and that’s partly why he has little interest in joining United.

His first choice is to stay at Barcelona as talks of a pay cut continue.

Barca need De Jong and several other top players to take pay cuts in order to register a number of their new signings, including Robert Lewandowski, Jules Kounde and Raphinha.

But so far, De Jong hasn’t shown any desire to take a pay cut even though it might be the only way for him to stay at Camp Nou.

Italian journalist and Napoli pundit Ciro Venerato recently revealed that United decided to sign Ruiz through his agent.

He told CalcioNapoli24: “Manchester United made an attempt with Fabian’s entourage.”

Ten Hag has previously underlined his desire to improve the club’s options in midfield and other areas of the pitch, saying: “We have signed [Christian] Eriksen for the midfield department, we’re really happy with that.

“I am also happy with the performance of our midfield and our attacking department.

“This season has a lot of games, with the World Cup, so we need more options.

“We need a good team, a good group, to get good results at the end of the season. We still need to strengthen the team and we are looking around, but we need the right players.

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