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The Barcelona players Manchester United have tried to sign

Manchester United have been interested in signing four Barcelona players who will play at Old Trafford on Thursday.

Frenkie de Jong, ante Bruno Fernandes en el Barça-United.
Isabel Infantes - PA ImagesGetty

With the Glazer auction at Manchester United well underway, where the names of Jim Ratcliffe and Jasim bin Hammad al Thani are becoming familiar around Old Trafford, United fans are hoping for an investment effort next season that will guide the club back to previous heights.

United have been trying to sign Barcelona players for some time. The first was Ansu Fati, who just before the pandemic was on United’s radar. The Catalan club even claimed to have rejected an offer of €100m for the player, who at the time, although Lionel Messi was still around, was seen as the next big thing. Barça declared the Guinea-Bissau forward non-transferable. “I have a contract until 2027 and I hope to be at Barça for many more years,” Ansu said on Monday. If he continues to stay out of the side, however, that could change in the summer.

The Old Trafford outfit also targeted Uruguayan defender Ronald Araújo during his talks over a new deal at Camp Nou, but he then extended his contract at the club until 2026 and like Ansu, has a clause of €1bn.

De Jong interest

Frenkie de Jong has been the player who has been closest to moving to Manchester. Wanted by Erik ten Hag, Barça found in United an excellent buyer last May, when they decided to get rid of the Dutchman. However, the plan backfired on president Joan Laporta. De Jong wanted to stay in Barcelona and is now one of Barça’s most important players going into Thursday’s Europa League clash.

Barça have yet to offer Alejandro Balde a deal and, from what we saw in the first leg at Camp Nou, United are not short of left-backs with Luke Shaw, Tyrell Malacia, and Alex Telles on loan at Sevilla. Like other Premier League sides, United are keeping a close eye on Balde’s progress, but Barça believe they have his contract renewal tied up.


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