Manchester United could struggle to sign Barcelona star Frenkie de Jong in the immediate future, according to transfer expert Fabrizio Romano.

United manager Erik ten Hag is keen to reunite with De Jong, who played under him during their time together at Ajax.

United attempted to sign the Netherlands international in the summer transfer window but failed, with De Jong reluctant to leave Barcelona for various reasons including an ongoing dispute with the Catalan club over deferred wages he is owed.

Despite joining Barcelona in a €75m (£65.5m) move from Ajax in 2019, De Jong is no longer a guaranteed starter at the club following the emergence of Pedri and Gavi.

United continue to maintain an interest in De Jong but Romano claims the Premier League club could struggle to sign the midfielder if they did make another approach in January.

Romano: Ten Hag loves De Jong

Speaking on the Here We Go podcast, Romano said: “Let me clarify one thing, it’s true, and we know that Man United want De Jong, Erik ten Hag is in love with De Jong, so this is not new.

“Man United will always want Frenkie De Jong, but what is the point? Last summer it was not only Man United, Chelsea wanted Frenkie De Jong too.

“Chelsea were prepared to pay more than Man United for De Jong at one point in the summer, so it is not only Man United if Frenkie changes his mind, but also Chelsea.”

While De Jong was reluctant to leave the Nou Camp in the summer, fresh reports claim the midfielder could be open to a January move.

The Mirror claim De Jong has told Ten Hag he would be happy to join him at Old Trafford, should United make a suitable offer.

However, it remains to be seen whether United would be prepared to bid in January, having already signed midfield reinforcements in Casemiro and Christian Eriksen in the summer transfer window.