MANCHESTER UNITED have drawn up a two-man midfield shortlist in case they can't sign Frenkie de Jong, according to reports.
The Red Devils have been chasing the Dutchman for two months, but are still far from completing a transfer.
Club chiefs Richard Arnold and John Murtough travelled to Barcelona this week in the hopes of accelerating a deal, and did manage to agree a £72million fee.
But De Jong himself is blocking the move, as he doesn't want to leave Barca.
It's claimed he wants to stay and fight for his place in the team, despite being unhappy at being told he either needs to take a pay cut on his £100,000 a week wages, or leave.
The Catalan giants have also reportedly asked the former Ajax ace to defer £14.3m in unpaid wages, with the star wanting the matter resolved before he agrees to a potential transfer.
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With the move proving to be tricky, Man United do have backup options in mind.
According to talkSPORT, the Red Devils are interested in Youri Tielemans and Ruben Neves.
United will have to compete with Arsenal for the Leicester ace, who has entered the final 12 months of his Foxes contract.
The Gunners are set to launch a £30m bid for Tielemans, and could look to partner the Belgian with Manchester City star Oleksandr Zinchenko in midfield.
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While Wolves could demand around £50m for Neves.
Ten Hag, 52, wants to bolster his midfield, with Christian Eriksen set to pen a three-year deal after snubbing Brentford.
United's new boss is also set to strengthen his defence after having a £46m bid accepted by Ajax for Lisandro Martinez, with personal terms not expected to be an issue.
Man United got their pre-season off to the perfect start earlier this week.
The Red Devils battered rivals Liverpool 4-0 in Bangkok, with Jadon Sancho, Fred, Anthony Martial and Facundo Pellistri getting on the scoresheet.
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Ten Hag and Co have now travelled to Melbourne for the second leg of their pre-season tour.
They will take on Melbourne Victory, before clashes againstCrystal Palace and Aston Villa.
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