Which club might Cristiano Ronaldo join if he leaves Man United?
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Manchester United play again today with their penultimate pre-season friendly against Atletico Madrid. But as well as the action on the pitch, there’s plenty going on with United off it as they continue to try and strengthen Erik ten Hag’s first-team squad for the exhaustive World Cup-interrupted Premier League season ahead. Namely, the drawn-out pursuit of Ten Hag’s No 1 summer target – Barcelona midfielder Frenkie de Jong – continues.
The basics of a deal are agreed between United and Barcelona for De Jong and the Dutchman would cost up to £71million including add-ons. But De Jong prefers to stay in Spain although Barca are eager for the player to take a pay cut to do so.
Elsewhere, Red Bull Salzburg striker Benjamin Sesko has emerged as a target. The teenage forward scored in a friendly against Liverpool earlier this week and is one of the next major talents off of the long Salzburg production line, but will not come cheaply if Ten Hag is to add him to his team.
Sesko is a target for United with Cristiano Ronaldo’s future up in the air. The Portuguese superstar is eager to quit the Red Devils but United do not want to leave themselves with Anthony Martial as their only striker, with Marcus Rashford now very much a winger. Ronaldo has made it clear to United he wants out but there are few clubs who can afford a deal.
Express Sport keeps you updated on all the latest goings on at Old Trafford below.
Laporta denies De Jong to Chelsea
Barcelona president Joan Laporta has denied to CBS Sports Golazo that the Catalan club have offered Frenkie de Jong to Chelsea.
Laporta had dinner with Chelsea co-owner and chairman Todd Boehly at Via Veneto in Barcelona recently.
But Laporta said: “No, no, no. We had a very nice dinner in Barcelona and we talked in general about football.
“He is a very successful businessman. He is involved in sport with the Lakers and Dodgers and now with Chelsea.
“He looks like a man who knows what he wants to do and it was a very nice dinner.”
Chelsea’s stance on De Jong
Manchester United are not the only club keen on Frenkie de Jong – so too are Chelsea.
And Sky Sport Germany report that the Blues could make a bid if it becomes clear N’Golo Kante will not sign a new contract at Stamford Bridge.
It has been mentioned that De Jong would prefer Chelsea or Bayern Munich to United but the German champions are not in the running this summer.
Salzburg name Sesko price tag
Manchester United are claimed to have sat down with the agent of Red Bull Salzburg striker Benjamin Sesko recently.
But the Austrian club will not sell this summer unless United submit an offer of over £55million, claim the Daily Mail.
The 19-year-old Slovenian has two goals in Salzburg’s first two games of the season but they are reluctant to lose him already.
Ronaldo return confirmed
United are also to play Rayo Vallecano tomorrow at Old Trafford (4pm kick-off).
And Cristiano Ronaldo has announced he will play in the match, in what will be his first outing for the Red Devils since last season.
The Portugal captain did not join up with United’s squad on their pre-season tour of Thailand and Australia because of personal reasons.
Good morning and welcome to Express Sport’s latest daily Manchester United blog.
It’s game day – United face Atletico Madrid in the Norwegian capital of Oslo in what will be a 12.45pm kick-off.
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