Man Utd eye Fabian Ruiz as alternative signing to Barcelona star De Jong

The Premier League team’s hunt for the Dutch international continues to drag on, forcing the club to look elsewhere

Manchester United look to Napoli midfielder Fabian Ruiz as a move for Frenkie de Jong is held up. Erik ten Hag is determined to bring in a top-quality tenacious midfielder and sees the Spain international as an ideal alternative if top target De Jong cannot be secured.

United have spent the summer chasing the Barcelona star – who is still their ideal asset – and have even agreed a £55million ($66million) fee with the Catalan giants.

But a row over deferred pay to the former Ajax player has held up a deal – and means Ten Hag will start the season without tackling the position he labeled as a priority in his first stint at the club.

Will Man Utd sign Ruiz instead of De Jong?

While United have remained encouraged that they will eventually land De Jong, their hunt for Ruiz is proof that they are finally out of patience.

Ruiz, 26, won 15 caps for Spain and is a key player for Napoli. He is a civilized defensive midfielder, who according to Ten Hag can dictate the game with his passes and can make a link between defense and attack.

Where does De Jong play his club football this season?

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Where does De Jong play his club football this season?

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  • 42%Manchester United
  • 11%Chelsea
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United personally insisted that they had alternatives in case a deal for De Jong could not be finalized, admiring Youri Tielemans and Ruben Neves.

Is Ruiz the right player for Man Utd?

But Ten Hag has started the pursuit of the player he worked with at Ajax and was hesitant to switch targets.

On Friday, United’s manager said: “You don’t need a player, you need the right player, that’s what we work for. If it’s not the right player, no (we wouldn’t hire another player). We need the right player .” right players.

“We said it before, the team is still looking to strengthen the team.”

Ten Hag has refused to talk about De Jong publicly, but has been clear about the need for a tenacious midfielder.

“We want Frenkie?” he added when asked about his former player. “It’s about the right players and I can’t comment on a player who is under contract with another club.

“You work with the current squad and develop players in your current squad. At the moment we have players in that position and they are performing very well.”

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