Manchester United have been linked with a swoop for Barcelona midfielder Frenkie de Jong in the summer transfer window, with Erik ten Hag keen on a reunion and Xavi Hernandez giving them a boost
Frenkie de Jong has been given the green light to join Manchester United by Barcelona manager Xavi Hernandez.
The 25-year-old is reportedly up for sale at the Camp Nou after failing to impress Blaugrana fans after leaving Ajax three years ago. In Amsterdam, Erik ten made Hag de Jong a star early in his glittering tenure as Ajax reached the 2019 Champions League semi-finals.
Now new Red Devils manager Ten Hag is looking to reunite with the midfielder at Old Trafford and make him his first signing during the summer transfer window. Deportes Cuarto claims opposite number Xavi has backed the move and wants to freshen up Barca’s midfield with newcomers like unsigned AC Milan ace Franck Kessie.
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De Jong has been signed by Barcelona for £65million and is expected to leave for a similar fee, with numerous Catalan media outlets predicting the transfer to happen in the coming weeks. Due to their financial plight and losses during the Covid-19 pandemic, the Blaugrana will be forced to sell a high earner this summer, including the Netherlands international.
Xavi revealed ahead of the latest reports: “I haven’t spoken to him about his future. He’s playing at a very good level and he needs to continue here – he can be one of the best midfielders in the world for years to come. If it was up to me, I would stay here for many more years. He is very important and can shape an era here. He has to score, assist and he has to be the protagonist.”
However, the Barca manager may have reluctantly accepted his club’s predicament when De Jong told The Guardian in February that playing at the Camp Nou was his ‘dream’.
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“I’m very happy to be at Barcelona: I wanted to be here from a young age, so in this way it’s a dream come true,” he explained. “But I would have liked to have won more trophies than we did in my first two years. I expected more in that sense, let’s put it that way. But other than that, I’m very happy here and hopefully for many more years to come. “
On Thursday, Ten Hag held a meeting in Amsterdam to outline his transfer draft. He was joined by United football director John Murtough, Ajax assistant Mitchell van der Gaag and Steve McCalren, who will also join him in the Old Trafford dugout. The Dutch tactician is believed to be looking to sign two midfielders this summer, a versatile forward and a centre-back.