MANCHESTER UNITED

Manchester United lead the race to sign Frenkie De Jong

Manchester United are currently favorites to sign FC Barcelona star, Frenkie De Jong. The Red Devils will be negotiating with Barcelona for the £85 million midfielder.

De Jong could reunite with his former coach, Erik Ten Hag at Old Trafford. Provided, The Red Devils restrain from sacking Ten Hag after the end of a woeful campaign.

United ended the Premier League campaign in 8th place with 60 points. This was the worst ever Premier League finish in the Red Devils’ illustrious history. However, Ten Hag and United managed to end the season on a positive note.

The Manchester Reds edged Manchester City 2-1 in a classic Manchester Derby at Wembley for the FA Cup. Moreover, United managed to secure a Europa League spot in the next season with their massive win. However, Ten Hag’s job is still under scrutiny. Sir Jim Ratcliffe and INEOS are considering Ten Hag’s influence over his entire two seasons at Old Trafford before making the decision.

Needless to say, some believe Ten Hag has been good with United. Considering, the EFL Cup win in his first season and now an FA Cup with an injury prone squad.

De Jong’s impressive rise at Ajax

De Jong graduated from Willem II’s academy in 2015. Thereafter, Ajax bought the midfielder from Willem II for a symbolic fee of €1 fee, including a 10% sell-on bonus. Followingly, the Dutchman was bought back on a short term loan deal by Willem II.

The Dutch international made a return to Johan Cruyff Arena in January 2016. However, he would mostly play for Jong Ajax for a couple of years in the Eerste Divisie. The 27-year old won the Eerste Divisie Talent of the Season award for his crucial contributions for Jong Ajax in 2016-17 season.

Moreover, De Jong was a part of the Ajax squad that would eventually bow out of the Europa League final against Jose Mourinho’s Manchester United. De Jong made 89 appearances for Ajax till 2019. Additionally, the Dutchman portrayed his brilliance in the astonishing breakthrough season for Ajax in 2018-19.

The Dutchman won the Eredivisie, KNVB Cup and reached Champions League Semi-Final narrowly losing out to Spurs until the very last minute. De Jong was named as the Eredivisie Player of the Season, UEFA Champions League Midfielder of the Season and also made it into the FIFA FIF Pro World XI and IFFHS Men’s World Team in 2019.

The 27-year old began his international career in Netherlands U15 team in 2012 eventually making his senior debut in 2018. De Jong helped the Oranje to the inaugural Nations League Final against Portugal. The midfielder has already won 57 caps for his country.

De Jong to Barcelona: The midfielder snubbed United

Barcelona bought the Dutchman from Ajax for a staggering €75 million. However, De Jong had interest from several clubs including the likes of PSG, Manchester City and Manchester United.

But, De Jong ended up joining Camp Nou. The Dutchman was a key addition to the Barcelona squad. The 27-year old has won La Liga, Copa del Rey and a Supercopa de Espana in his tenure. De Jong has made 351 appearances for Barcelona.

United at the forefront to sign De Jong!

Alongside Manchester United, PSG and Bayern were in the race for the star midfielder. However, PSG are focused on diverting their financial resources to replace their talisman Kylian Mbappe. Moreover, since Vincent Kompany’s arrival, Bayern’s interest in De Jong has lowered.

Henceforth, the Red Devils are the frontrunners to lure away the Dutch international. However, United will be looking to clarify their position on Ten Hag first and then move on to signing players.

Why do the Red Devils want De Jong?

De Jong is a versatile midfielder acting as a playmaker and providing defensive stability to his side. Moreover, the Dutchman’s positioning makes him an even better player. The 27-year old is always busy on the pitch and can’t be kept out of the game for long.

Additionally, United’s midfield is not at its best. Except for Kobbie Mainoo and Bruno Fernandes, the Red Devils have struggled immensely. Most of United’s players will be available in the market and Bayern are keen to make a move for Fernandes.

Therefore, De Jong could be a possible replacement and an important addition at the Theatre of Dreams.

As featured on ManUNews.com

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