Manchester United have promised Frenkie de Jong he will be their ‘key player’ in midfield for Erik ten Hag, according to reports. The 25-year-old has been reluctant to leave Barcelona for Old Trafford. However, it’s looking increasingly likely that a transfer will take place that will see the Netherlands international move to the Premier League.
Manchester United have been pushing to sign De Jong for some time now.
They first opened talks with Barcelona a huge 52 days ago and, finally, appear to be on the verge of bringing the Netherlands international to Old Trafford.
De Jong has hinted at a move to United by ‘liking’ their recent social media post that paid tribute to Ruud van Nistelrooy, who bagged 150 goals in five seasons for the club.
And Sport say the Red Devils have ‘promised’ the Barcelona star he will be their ‘key player’ in the middle of the park.
The Catalan giants have been unable to do the same, partly due to the fact veteran Sergio Busquets remains a vital asset for Xavi.
United have lost Paul Pogba, which is why they’re targeting De Jong as a replacement.
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The France international was offered the chance to stay at Old Trafford but, despite having a £300,000-a-week salary on the table, decided to leave instead.
Pogba is now primed to move back to Juventus, the club where he spent four years between 2012 and 2016.
And De Jong will bring control to United’s midfield in a way the 29-year-old never did, with the 2018 World Cup winner failing to live up to expectations during his six years in England.
United have also lost Nemanja Matic, too.
The Serbian international was signed by Jose Mourinho back in the summer transfer window of 2017, shortly after the Red Devils missed out on Tottenham’s Eric Dier.
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But Matic has now decided to reunite with Mourinho at Roma, having previously played under the Portuguese at both United and Chelsea.
It’ll be fascinating to see what happens with De Jong, amid talk the Blues could hijack his potential move to Old Trafford this summer.
Chelsea, with Todd Boehly as their owner, are looking to make statement signings to mark the start of this exciting new era.
But all signs still point to De Jong moving to United instead.
Ten Hag is a crucial factor, with the 52-year-old previously getting the best from his compatriot during their spell at Ajax together.
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The publication adds that Barcelona are willing to let De Jong go because they’ve already got their midfield options in mind for next term.
As well as Busquets, they’ll have Pedri, Gavi, Sergio Roberto, Nico Gonzalez and Franck Kessie at their disposal.
And United could announce De Jong in the next few days after agreeing a £56.2 million up-front deal for the former Ajax star.
Meanwhile, speaking recently, former United star Luke Chadwick endorsed his old side’s pursuit of De Jong and insisted he should be a good asset for the club.
“I definitely think the club should go for someone like De Jong. United need new options in the middle of the pitch, and he’s a hugely gifted player,” Chadwick told CaughtOffside.
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“We’re not privy to his situation or everything that’s being said behind closed doors, but it seems like every Ajax player past and present is being linked with United since Ten Hag got the job.
“I’m sure those Dutch players in that incredible team that Ten Hag built at Ajax would relish the opportunity to work with him again.
“I’m sure someone like De Jong would at least want the opportunity to speak to the club.
“He fits the profile, he’s a completely different character to Pogba in terms of how he conducts himself off the pitch.
“In my eyes, looking at the player, but not knowing the entire situation, admittedly, I think United should go for him.
“I think he should be considered because of what he did at Ajax under Ten Hag previously.”