TalkSport’s Alex Crook believes that Manchester United will end up landing summer target Frenkie de Jong from Barcelona this summer, but it might not be in the ideal scenario that manager Erik ten Hag wants.
The Red Devils have been busy so far this window after bringing in Christian Eriksen and Lisandro Martinez, while there have been claims of Cristiano Ronaldo being desperate to leave. But this has not stopped them in their pursuit of bringing Blaugrana star De Jong to the Premier League this summer.
The deal, however, has not been easy so far, as Barcelona and United have agreed on a deal worth around €85m (£71.4m), but the player is not thought to be interested in leaving. Despite this, Crook believes United will end up getting the job done – but it may not happen until someway into the season.
Crook told TalkSport: “I think he’ll still end up at Manchester United, but I think it’ll be a lot closer to the end of the transfer window, by which time they’ll be two, three, maybe even four games into the Premier League season.
“I don’t think it’s an ideal scenario, because as it stands, you’re effectively telling Ten Hag you need to improve on the finishing position of last season with the cast-offs of previous managers because he’s only signed three players.”
TIF Thoughts on De Jong to United…
It has not been an easy summer for United so far, and it doesn’t look like it’s going to get any easier as the De Jong saga continues to plague their transfer window with uncertainty as the new Premier League season approaches.
The Dutchman would be a huge addition to Ten Hag’s side next season as he could fit in as the anchor in a new-look midfield alongside Bruno Fernandes and Eriksen. Last season for Barcelona, De Jong ranked in the 95th percentile for progressive passes received, in the 94th for progressive carries and in the 92nd for pass completion compared to other midfielders across Europe’s top five leagues (as per FBref).
It is undeniable that €85m is a lot of money to spend, but if United lose Ronaldo and potentially miss out on bringing Antony in, they will need a boost for the squad and the fans. Signing a player like De Jong would surely give the club the boost they need.
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