Man Utd handed boost in signing 24y/o star, club ready to sell for £58.8m – report

Frenkie de Jong

Manchester United are among the main contenders to sign Barcelona midfielder Frenkie de Jong during this summer’s transfer window, Spanish publication AS (today’s edition, page 16) claims.

The Red Devils are widely expected to reinforce their midfield department ahead of next season. Nemanja Matic has confirmed that he will be leaving at the end of the campaign while Paul Pogba could also walk through the exit door when his contract expires on June 30.

Amidst this, United have been linked with several high-profile names including De Jong. AS reports that the Catalan giants have already placed the Dutchman up for sale after being given the green light by manager Xavi Hernandez. He is valued at €70 million (£58.8m).

Meanwhile, Valencia recently dismissed a transfer agreement with Barcelona for Carlos Soler, but AS insist that a summer deal has been finalised. The Spaniard will replace De Jong for around €20m, thus saving the Blaugrana with funds to bolster other key positions.

Manchester United are one of the prime candidates interested in signing De Jong alongside Bayern Munich, but a number of Premier League clubs are also keeping tabs on the Dutchman’s situation.

Our view:

Incoming United manager Erik ten Hag is likely to prefer more technical players in the squad, and De Jong would be a quality acquisition with his excellent ability on the ball. He has completed over 91 per cent of his passes over the course of his entire career.

The Dutchman is capable of playing in both the central and defensive midfield roles with relative comfort and has also slotted at centre-back when required. Ten Hag previously managed De Jong at Ajax for two-and-a-half years and this could provide a boost for Man Utd.

Bayern will offer De Jong with Champions League football unlike United, but the prospect of working with his former head coach could be an enticing factor. It has recently been reported that De Jong would only consider reuniting with Ten Hag if he decides to leave Camp Nou.

It remains to be seen whether a deal materialises. Ten Hag will have some control over the decision-making this summer. While De Jong is technically gifted, he is not the most creative. The midfielder has not contributed over seven goals and assists in a single league campaign.

In comparison, Southampton’s James Ward-Prowse has 18 goal contributions this season alone. He has recently emerged as a top target for United at Ten Hag’s request. It is highly unlikely that United will pursue two marquee midfielders this summer. It could be one or the other.

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