Manchester United have been handed a huge boost in their pursuit of Barcelona midfielder Frenkie de Jong. The 25-year-old has been the subject of intense speculation this summer, with Erik ten Hag believed to be targetting him as one of his top targets.
Ten Hag was unveiled as United’s new manager the day after Ralf Rangnick’s final game in charge and the Dutchman has wasted no time in getting acclimatised to his new role.
United have needed midfield reinforcements for several years and despite that area of the game being their most obvious flaw, no senior midfielder has been signed since Fred arrived at the club four years ago.
Donny van de Beek, the much-maligned 25-year-old, joined in 2020 but is widely regarded as more of an attacking option. Ten Hag, who worked with Van de Beek at Ajax, is now setting his sights on another one of his former players.
United’s interest in De Jong has attracted widespread coverage in the press but up to this point, the general consensus has been that De Jong would prefer to join a Champions League club if he’s shown the door at Barcelona.
The landscape could, however, have changed for the better from United’s viewpoint. According to The Athletic, United’s main focus has been placed on De Jong this summer and the player has now privately indicated that a move to the club is appealing.
As per the report, Barcelona’s €80m valuation remains a sticking point in the deal but negotiations between the two clubs are believed to be ongoing.
United are said to be resistant to giving Barcelona exactly what they’re asking for, with the Catalan club’s financial troubles still very prominent.