Manchester United are in for yet another busy summer, with Erik ten Hag’s revolution at the club well underway. Six departures have already been confirmed, with Paul Pogba, Juan Mata, Jesse Lingard, Nemanja Matic, Edinson Cavani and Lee Grant all leaving on free transfers.
A midfielder is high on United’s wishlist and Barcelona star Frenkie de Jong has been linked more than others, with the 25-year-old possibly becoming the latest victim of the Catalan club’s economic issues.
Last summer, La Liga regulations forced their hand into letting club legend Lionel Messi go and there have been suggestions that the sale of De Jong could be needed to fund reinforcements as Xavi Hernandez aims to turn the club around.
Journalist and transfer specialist Fabrizio Romano has provided another update on the situation, insisting that United and Ten Hag are working hard to sign De Jong, with the arrival seen as a ‘statement’.
“Man United are working hard to try and sign Frenkie de Jong. Erik ten Hag considers him more than a great midfielder, almost a “statement” on the part of the club in wanting to start a new era with a player of excellent quality and international level,” Romano write in his CaughtOffside column.
“Barcelona wants an €85m fee to let Frenkie leave this summer, Man United hope to be able to change the player’s mind in more ways: the club’s project to return to the Champions League as early as 2023, the relationship with Ten Hag, who would consider him untouchable in his project, Barcelona’s needs to sell some player to improve their economic situation. It won’t be easy, but Man United have not given up yet.”
Certainly, bringing in De Jong this summer seems like a challenge but the club wouldn’t pursue it if they thought he was out of their reach. Ten Hag identified the midfielder as one of his targets early on and it’s good to see United working to get it done.
De Jong’s desperate need for Champions League football is, however, a stumbling block they need to clear but if the argument that it’s only going to be one year is convincing enough, United will fancy their chances.