Stam urges Man Utd board to back Ten Hag as rebuild begins
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Frenkie de Jong to Manchester United ‘has legs’ but talk of an agreement is ‘ahead of reality’, it has been claimed. The Barcelona star is being eyed by Erik ten Hag as the summer transfer window creeps closer. But, at the current moment in time, it doesn’t appear a move to the Premier League is imminent.
Manchester United confirmed last month that Ten Hag would be their new manager, with the 52-year-old beating Mauricio Pochettino in order to land the role.
And it was claimed on Wednesday that the Red Devils were now nearing an agreement for De Jong, with a deal described as ’95 per cent done’.
Since then, however, Beyond the Pitch journalist Phil Brown has played down speculation linking De Jong with the club.
Taking to Twitter, he said: “I’m told that ‘FDJ is certainly a player Utd admire but speculation is a little ahead of reality’.
“Think there’s definitely legs in this.”
United do want to reinforce their midfield this summer at a time where several players are primed to leave.
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Nemanja Matic has already confirmed he’ll be departing, having arrived from Chelsea back in the summer transfer window of 2017.
And the Serbia international won’t be the only player out of the door as Ten Hag gears up for his move to England.
Juan Mata is also set to leave for free, having been at the club ever since David Moyes’ brief stint at the helm.
Paul Pogba’s future remains up in the air, though the chances of him leaving United for Manchester City now appear to be slim.
And Jesse Lingard, having been with the Red Devils since the age of nine, is determined to leave for a new challenge elsewhere.
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Regarding De Jong, he previously sparkled under Ten Hag at Ajax.
Yet he chose to leave Amsterdam for Barcelona in 2019, having also been courted by Paris Saint-Germain at the time.
De Jong has blown hot and cold for the La Liga giants since under the likes of Ernesto Valverde, Quique Setien, Ronald Koeman and Xavi.
But Barcelona have regularly insisted he won’t be allowed to leave, with Xavi hopeful of getting the best from the 24-year-old in the future.
Therefore, though the deal ‘has legs’, United appear to have plenty of work to do.
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And De Jong isn’t the only player they’re targeting as they plan for a bright new era with Ten Hag at the helm.
At centre-back, the likes of Manuel Akanji, Pau Torres, Matthijs de Ligt and Jurrien Timber have all been linked.
As well as De Jong, United admire midfielders such as Declan Rice, Kalvin Phillips and Jude Bellingham.
However, West Ham, Leeds and Borussia Dortmund respectively have no intentions of offloading their prized assets.
And, up top, Darwin Nunez is a player United have their eye on as they look to ease the goalscoring burden on Cristiano Ronaldo.
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Meanwhile, speaking recently, Barcelona star Xavi insisted De Jong would be a key part of his plans for many years to come.
He said last month: “He has to be a player that makes the difference and he does.
“There aren’t many players with his quality in the world.
“He’s the present and the future [at Barca]. He is a very important player for me.
“He’s capable, strong, he gets into the box… He has had some excellent games, but he has to be consistent.”
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