Erik ten Hag appointed next Manchester United manager
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Barcelona star Frenkie de Jong is ‘interested’ in a summer switch to Manchester United, according to reports. Erik ten Hag is keen on a reunion with the 24-year-old in this summer’s transfer window. However, any deal to bring the midfielder to Old Trafford won’t be straightforward.
United have already confirmed Nemanja Matic will leave the club this summer, while Paul Pogba, Jesse Lingard and Juan Mata are poised to join the veteran out the door.
And they’re now eyeing De Jong as a result, with Barcelona open to parting ways with the 24-year-old.
Now, 90min claim the Netherlands international is interested in joining United when the summer transfer window reopens.
There is said to be mutual interest involved, with Ten Hag keen to reunite with a player he previously worked with at Ajax.
De Jong became an important footballer and household name during his time under the 52-year-old in Amsterdam.
And, now, it’s possible he’ll choose to head to the Premier League with United at the end of the current season.
De Jong has been inconsistent during his time at Barcelona, having joined the club with big hopes in 2019.
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But while that’s the case, the Catalan titans would still like to keep the Netherlands international at the Nou Camp.
Due to their financial situation, however, they’ve not ruled out letting De Jong leave this summer.
The player’s market value would reportedly allow ‘flexibility’ for Barcelona.
And with young duo Pedri and Gavi shining under Xavi, it’s possible they’ll take the bait and let De Jong go.
The 25-year-old, who celebrates his birthday today, would be a huge signing for United.
And their record with Dutch players in the past, particularly over the past two decades, bodes well.
United signed Ruud van Nistelrooy in the summer of 2001, shortly after Sir Alex Ferguson had steered them to the Premier League title.
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He then went on to become a hero at Old Trafford, scoring 150 goals from 219 appearances and propelling them to four trophies in the process.
In 2006, United signed Edwin van der Sar from Fulham.
And he was another substantial hit, helping the club win four league titles in five years before retiring in 2011.
After Van der Sar came Robin van Persie.
The Netherlands international snubbed interest from Manchester City to join United a decade ago from Arsenal.
And he was another success story, with no player able to better his tally of 31 goals in the 2012/2013 season in the time since.
Even Daley Blind won three trophies during his time at the club after arriving from Ajax in 2014.
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And that suggests De Jong would be a shrewd signing for United as they look to reel in the likes of Liverpool and Manchester City.
Some reports have suggested the midfielder would only leave Barcelona for a team playing in the Champions League.
But United, with their vast financial muscle and Ten Hag on board, could end up winning the race for the midfielder instead.
Meanwhile, as Ten Hag prepares to take over, Jaap Stam has backed the Dutchman to turn the club around.
“At the moment they’re struggling,” said the former defender, who won the treble with the Red Devils in 1999.
“You feel that – and that’s me being in Holland the majority of the time – everybody around the world is talking about United, how they’re playing and what they’re doing and that they want to have success.
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“Erik has been doing well in Holland and everybody knows that as well. That’s why he got the job at United of course.
“We also need to understand that in the league in Holland the quality of the majority of teams is a lot less than how Ajax is but still you need to produce, so that’s still a very good thing that he’s done.
“Now he’s been given the chance to try to do the same at United and hopefully he can do.
“But he understands, and he knows as well, that the Premier League is totally different – the people, the press, the expectations, the pressure – to how it was in Holland.
“For him that’s going to be a learning curve but it’s very important that the club and the owners are backing him up in terms of personnel.
“United have got good players. Yeah, some of them might need to go but they need to bring in several other players as well, so they can get unity within that squad, play in a certain way.
“The philosophy in how he wants to play is of course very important. That’s why they chose Erik. Hopefully he can show that.”
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