Frenkie De Jong displays impressive mid-fielding skills
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Barcelona star Frenkie de Jong reportedly gave away five pairs of boots and three shirts because he ‘wanted to say goodbye’. The Netherlands international is a top transfer target for Manchester United. And it appears there’s hope for Erik ten Hag when it comes to sealing a reunion with the midfielder.
Manchester United want to land a new midfielder in this summer’s transfer window.
Paul Pogba and Nemanja Matic are primed to leave, while the club are also expected to lose Jesse Lingard and Juan Mata on free transfers as well.
United have, therefore, emerged as potential suitors for De Jong – who could leave Barcelona as the Catalan titans look to balance their finances.
And transfer expert Gerard Romero, speaking on his Twitch channel, has now provided an intriguing update that gives Ten Hag hope of a summer reunion.
It’s claimed that one of the children who was at Barcelona’s training ground on Saturday gave away five pairs of boots and three shirts.
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And this, apparently, was because he wanted to say ‘goodbye’ to the fans who are there each and every day.
That would suggest De Jong is expecting to leave Barcelona behind, even though his preference would be to stay at the Nou Camp.
Signed from Ajax back in the summer transfer window of 2019, the La Liga side thought he’d be the perfect heir to Xavi and Andres Iniesta.
But De Jong has often struggled for consistency during his time at Barcelona, with the midfielder blowing hot and cold under the likes of Ernesto Valverde, Quique Setien, Ronald Koeman and Xavi himself.
Barcelona would, ideally, rebuff all approaches for their prized asset.
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Yet with the club looking to balance their finances, and plotting a way to sign Robert Lewandowski from Bayern Munich, it’s possible they’ll cut ties.
United are now frontrunners for De Jong, with Manchester City unlikely to enter the bidding for the 25-year-old despite Pep Guardiola’s desire to strengthen his midfield.
And Ten Hag could prove key.
The Dutchman managed De Jong at Ajax, with the pair helping the Eredivisie outfit reach the semi-finals of the Champions League three years ago.
And United will be hoping their relationship with each other can bode well when it comes to snapping up the Barcelona star.
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If De Jong does move to United, he’ll become their sixth signing from La Liga since Sir Alex Ferguson’s retirement in 2013.
Under Louis van Gaal, the Red Devils brought in Ander Herrera, Angel Di Maria and Victor Valdes.
In 2016, Jose Mourinho signed Eric Bailly from Villarreal to kickstart his own time at Old Trafford.
And, since then, United have also proceeded to raid Real Madrid for Raphael Varane – with the World Cup winner joining last year.
Xavi, meanwhile, has admitted he wants De Jong to stay at Barcelona.
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Yet he’s also hinted they could be forced to sell by admitting they’ll have to see what the ‘situation’ is like with the midfielder this summer.
“For me, he is a great player,” said the Spaniard, who will be eyeing the La Liga title next season.
“I think he can be part of an important era of the club.
“We’ll see what the situation is, but I like Frenkie.”
Other midfield targets for United include Declan Rice, Kalvin Phillips and Ruben Neves – of West Ham, Leeds and Wolves respectively.
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