Frenkie de Jong is reportedly still near the top of Erik ten Hag’s transfer wishlist as the Manchester United boss continues his rebuild of the club.
Ten Hag was desperate to reunite with De Jong last summer, after the pair had enjoyed a successful spell together at Ajax, but the Dutch midfielder was reluctant to leave Barcelona, with a dispute over unpaid wages thought to have played a significant role in his decision.
But according to talkSPORT, Ten Hag hasn’t given up on working with De Jong once again, and has made him ‘one of United’s top summer targets’.
The United boss is said to be hopeful De Jong was impressed with the progress made by the Red Devils having seen it first hand in their win over Barcelona in the Europa League play-off last week.
It’s claimed that the prospect of partnering Casemiro in the United midfield is an ‘attractive proposition’ for the 25-year-old, who would also likely be playing Champions League football should he move to Old Trafford.
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Speaking before the 2-1 win over Barcelona last week, which gave them a 4-3 win on aggregate across the two legs, United legend Paul Scholes was asked whether he would like to see his former club sign De Jong in the summer.
“Yeah of course,” Scholes told BT Sport.
“He is a wonderful footballer, I disagree slightly with Owen [Hargreaves] thinking he is better in the pivot position as a Busquets type.
“I think he was probably brought here to replace Sergio Busquets but Busquets keeps going. I think he is more suited to that role.
“I don’t think he [de Jong] likes playing in that forward role.
“But in my opinion, he is better in that holding role where he replaces Busquets.”
Hargreaves added that “all the big teams in the Premier League would love” to sign De Jong.
“You would love to see Frenkie de Jong play at Old Trafford, he can play deeper as a pivot or a little bit further forward which I think is his best position,” Hargreaves added.
“A fantastic footballer, can dribble and I think United fans will be looking out for him today but I’m sure all the big teams in the Premier League would love to have this guy because he makes you that much better.”