Manchester United have just one game remaining of their disastrous season and Erik ten Hag, the incoming manager, wrapped up a third consecutive league title with Ajax earlier this week.
As per a report earlier this week, Ten Hag was in attendance at a planning meeting in Amsterdam the day after his Eredivisie triumph, with former United coach Steve McClaren also present.
The details of the meeting have yet to be revealed but it’s possible that recruitment was on the agenda. This week, there have been links to Frenkie de Jong, the Barcelona midfielder, who worked closely with Ten Hag at Ajax.
Now, there are encouraging reports as Ten Hag could be taking the matter into his own hands. According to the Manchester Evening News, the 52-year-old has personally contacted De Jong’s agent, Ali Dursun, to gauge De Jong’s interest in making the switch from Barcelona to Manchester. Dursun also represents Donny van de Beek, another player Ten Hag developed in Amsterdam.
De Jong’s preference is yet to be revealed but as per the report, Barcelona could be forced into action due to their poor financial state. Despite this, the Catalan club are not willing to take a loss on a player they paid £65m for in 2019.
De Jong is one of several Dutch players to be linked with a move to United in recent weeks but he certainly fits the bill for what Ten Hag wants. Furthermore, a midfielder is going to be high on the Old Trafford club’s wishlist this summer, with Paul Pogba and Nemanja Matic set to leave the club on free transfers.
It could also be very useful to have someone who understands Ten Hag’s football straight away, which could make the adaptation period easier for the rest of the squad.
Van de Beek is another player who could thrive under Ten Hag and should the manager get his wish and sign De Jong, it’s likely that he would aim to recreate the midfield which dazzled Europe in 2019.