Manchester United are keen to sign Barcelona midfielder Frenkie de Jong following the appointment of Erik ten Hag as manager.
Ten Hag, who on Wednesday night won the Dutch Eredivisie with Ajax, has played a key role in De Jong’s career development and both have helped Ajax reach the 2018/19 UEFA Champions League semi-finals. De Jong joined Barcelona following the campaign but has since struggled to regain his form in Catalonia.
There is a similar interest from couples in working together as well. Ten Hag will take over as Manchester United manager after the end of the season, and the midfield will be an important area to improve in the summer as Paul Pogba and Nemanja Matic are expected to move on for free transfers.
Barcelona would love to keep De Jong, but the chances of him leaving in the summer will not be ruled out. Their difficult financial situation and De Jong market value could allow them to be more flexible if they could raise money, while the prospects for young Pedri and Gavi have skyrocketed in recent months.
The club hopes Gavi’s new contract could be announced soon this week.
De Jong, who is just 25 years old, would like to show his worth at Barcelona but may have to agree to relocate due to circumstances, high earnings, and a host of options in the middle of the pitch. Franck Kessie is also set to join the club on a free transfer from Milan in June, meaning more competition in the middle ground.
Manchester United themselves are looking to bring in at least one midfielder, a position already considered weak before the departure of Pogba and Matic. Interim manager Ralf Rangnick also recommended the signing of RB Leipzig midfielder Konrad Laimer to the club, as reported earlier this week.
Should De Jong leave Barcelona, he could have many options – Manchester City and Bayern Munich have also been linked with the player in the past.
Manchester United will not have the Champions League offer for the player next season although they may benefit from their pursuit of the player due to his relationship with Ten Hag.