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Xavi responds to Man Utd links to Frenkie de Jong amid claims Ten Hag plans to axe four midfielders

Barcelona coach Xavi has issued a warning to Manchester United amid claims Erik ten Hag wants to bring Frenkie de Jong to Old Trafford this summer.

The new United boss is planning wholesale changes this summer and is ready to get tough with his under-performing side. Indeed, in his interview, he insists no big names will be safe from the axe in his attempts to get the Red Devils upwardly mobile.

However, despite admitting he’s already turning his thoughts to United, the incoming coach is adamant his focus remains with Ajax. As such, he’s looked to reassure the Dutch media his attention remains on the Amsterdammers’ title push. Furthermore, he’s also ghosted questions about United’s damaging defeat at Arsenal on Saturday.

That said, Ten Hag will be unable to prevent his impending move weighing heavy in his mind. Taking on arguably the biggest job in world football, United have fallen badly off the levels seen in the golden years under Sir Alex Ferguson.

And closing the gap on Liverpool and Manchester City will be an extremely difficult task.

He will likely lean on interim boss Ralf Rangnick to help compile a dossier on the club’s current playing squad. To that end, the German claims the club needs something akin to open-heart surgery to fix their issues.

Top of their list of fixes is likely to be defensive improvements. The side have shipped seven in their last two games alone, making it 51 for the season. That is their worst tally in well over 40 years. And to put into context, relegation-threatened Burnley have only conceded 45 by comparison.

Ten Hag, though, will also be looking to strengthen his midfield. That was an area first outlined as an area of weakness by Rangnick when he took temporary control.

As such, Saturday’s Transfer Gossip claims United are casting admiring glances towards Barcelona star De Jong.

The Netherlands midfielder was reared at Ajax, so knows Ten Hag well.

Xavi keen to keep Frenkie De Jong

However, it seems prising him away from Barcelona will be no easy task. And Barcelona coach Xavi has quickly issued a firm response to claims that De Jong may be Old Trafford bound.

“I haven’t talked with him about his…

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