Man Utd's worst ever Premier League season
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Barcelona boss Xavi has reportedly endorsed Frenkie de Jong’s move to Manchester United as he wants to freshen up his side’s midfield. De Jong joined Barcelona from Ajax in 2019 but has been tipped to end his stint with the Catalan giants and sign for the Red Devils this summer.
De Jong has been a regular in the Barcelona team since moving to the Nou Camp for £65million and has made 138 appearances for the club. But he has failed to hit the heights expected of him.
And, according to Spanish outlet Cuatro, Xavi is happy for the midfielder to part ways with the club, as are the board and president Joan Laporta. Xavi would then turn his attention to signing new midfielders who understand the type of football he wants to play.
Barcelona are looking to offload De Jong in the opening days of the summer transfer window and are hoping to sell him for around the same price as they bought him for. And De Jong is said to welcome a new challenge as he hasn’t exactly been lauded by his current manager.
De Jong will link up with his former Ajax mentor Erik ten Hag if he does complete a move to Old Trafford. The duo worked alongside each other in the Netherlands for 18 months and won the Dutch league and cup double together.
De Jong was also part of Ten Hag’s Ajax team that reached the Champions League semi-final in 2019 before succumbing to Tottenham. The 25-year-old was absent for just one match during Ajax’s famous European run as the Dutchman’s team earnt rave reviews for their performances.
Ten Hag is clearly a big admirer of De Jong and would surely hand him a key role if he can entice him to Old Trafford. The Red Devils’ midfield has been a problem area this season, with Fred and Scott McTominay both coming under fire at times. And Paul Pogba looks set to leave the 13-time Premier League champions at the end of the season when his contract expires. So Ten Hag will want De Jong to make a difference.
If Barca can claw back the same amount of cash they bought De Jong for, it will help the club ease their ongoing financial problems. The Catalan giants were hit hard by the coronavirus pandemic and have been forced to cut costs by a significant amount in recent years. And that could play into United’s hands as they look to land a player who will be expected to walk the walk in the Premier League.
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