Prior to the 2021/22 Premier League season coming to a close, the Red Devils appointed former Ajax manager Erik ten Hag as their new boss ahead of next term and have since been linked with a number of current and former Ajax players in the summer transfer market.
The most prevalent rumour has surrounded Barcelona and former Ajax midfielder De Jong, who the Blaugrana are reportedly willing to sell this summer despite the Dutchman claiming he is happy at the club and wants to stay.
He told The Guardian in February: “I’m very happy I’m at Barcelona: from a young age I’ve wanted to be here, so in that way, it has been a dream come true.”
On a recent TalkSport GameDay podcast, Crook revealed how he believes United will secure the signing of the 25-year-old, as he is a priority for them in a position of need, with players leaving for free this summer.
He said: “I do think they’ll get De Jong, who came up with a wonderful assist for the Wout Weghorst winner in the Holland-Wales game in midweek.
“I think that’s the deal that they are really prioritising.
“The midfield is the weakest part of the team for Manchester United, not least because they’ve let players go this summer.”
TIF Thoughts on United signing De Jong…
United are arguably in desperate need of a world-class midfielder. They’re set to lose Paul Pogba, Juan Mata, Nemanja Matic and Jesse Lingard this summer, which leaves them with just Fred, Scott McTominay, and Bruno Fernandes are recognised starters in the midfield.
De Jong has impressed throughout the most recent season, as according to FBRef, he ranked in the 95th percentile for progressive passes with 4.74 per game and in the 94th for progressive carries with 7.08 per game, while he ranked in the 92nd percentile for pass completion with 90.1%.
If United can sign a player like De Jong, we think he could have a tremendous impact on their midfield, which has arguably been one of the worst parts of their team over the last few years, with the number of departures in that area suggesting it was indeed going stale.
Will De Jong sign for United?