Guardiola is an admirer of the former Ajax player
Manchester City are the latest entrants in the race for Frenkie de Jong and are set to compete with their neighbors Manchester United for his signature. The Times reported that Pep Guardiola wants to add a top-quality striker to his side with his club being linked with Erling Haaland, and is keen to bring in a holding midfielder as well.
Fernandinho is all set to depart on a free this summer, having served the club for nine years. Ilkay Gundagon is also in his 30s now and the Etihad side believe de Jong will be their long-term solution. However, Manchester United will fancy they have an advantage in the Dutch midfielder’s pursuit with the arrival of Erik ten Hag.
The incoming manager was able to get the best out of the midfielder in his time at Ajax and will hope to do the same at Old Trafford if he succeeds in securing his signature. The Times also suggested that a bid in the region of £60m will be enough to convince Barcelona to sell the 24-year-old.
Manchester United will have an exodus of sorts in the the summer with multiple midfielders set for an exit.
Nemanja Matic announced his departure via an Instagram post and will leave with a year remaining on his contract. Juan Mata and Jesse Lingard are both set to depart as free agents and could be accompanied by Paul Pogba as the Frenchman’s contract expires in June as well.
Hence, stacking up in midfield is going to be a priority for the Red Devils.
Manchester United target unsettled at the Catalan club
Frenkie de Jong has cut a frustrating figure in recent months after frequently being taken off the field by Xavi Hernandez before the final whistle. He was subbed again in the Catalan club’s home defeat to Rayo Vallecano on the hour-mark and was visibly upset.
After the game, the Barcelona boss said:
“He’s the present and the future. He is a very important player for me. He has had some excellent games, but he has to be consistent. We had a face-to-face chat this week and it went well. Obviously being taken off is frustrating for him, but I have to look out for the team.”
However, a recent report by AS claims that Xavi is willing to sell the Manchester United target due to the profit his sale could generate. The La Liga giants are already in advanced negotiations with Valencia midfielder Carlos Soler, whose sale will hinge around de Jong’s exit.
It will be interesting to see whether the Dutch midfielder decides to reunite with former coach Ten Hag at Old Trafford or join their fierce rivals to play under Pep Guardiola.