Man Utd have initiated direct talks with Barcelona over a difficult Frenkie de Jong transfer, while Erik ten Hag could reportedly give a current midfielder an unlikely second chance.
Manchester United confirmed Paul Pogba will leave the club for free this summer earlier on Wednesday. The Frenchman’s departure, combined with that of Nemanja Matic, will heighten United’s need to make additions in central midfield.
Frenkie de Jong is the player they’ve seemingly settled on acquiring, though a move is laced with difficulties.
Regardless, the Guardian report United have now ‘opened talks with Barcelona’ over a permanent transfer.
The 25-year-old has recently gone on record to reaffirm his loyalty to Barcelona. What’s more, his desire to play Champions League football puts United at a disadvantage.
The Guardian confirm those prior details, adding the Dutchman does not view Manchester United as a ‘prime destination’.
Yet United will be hopeful Ten Hag’s connections can help eek out a deal. Ten Hag managed De Jong during their time together at Ajax.
And while De Jong appears reluctant to move, the report states Barcelona may twist his arm.
The Spanish giant are once again under financial pressure and it’s stated a bid of around £72.4m could force their hand.
Transfer rests with Barcelona
Fabrizio Romano shed further light on the state of play via his YouTube channel.
The trusted transfer guru added Ten Hag is urging United to push hard for De Jong. However, his opposite number, Xavi, still has faith De Jong can contribute at the Camp Nou and won’t make a move easy.
In conclusion, Romano declared the success of a move likely depends on Barcelona and their financial requirements.
Regardless of whether De Jong is signed, a second report from Sport Witness claims Andreas Pereira may be given a chance to shine under Ten Hag.
Manchester United in direct talks with Frenkie De Jong
Manchester United have hope with signing Frenkie De Jong from Barcelona but Champions League is a massive factor
Pereira spent last season on loan at Flamengo who held an option to turn the move permanent. Recent reports have suggested that move has collapsed, putting Pereira’s future up in the air once more.
But with Pogba and Matic going, United will need numbers in the middle of the park. While Pereira is unlikely to be a regular starter, he could provide vital depth in the final year of his contract.
Sport Witness cite a report out of Brazil that claims a United club director has let it be known Pereira could be of use in Ten Hag’s system.
James Garner is another who could be given opportunity to impress in pre-season, per the Mirror.
Is Frenkie de Jong what Man Utd actually need?
The midfields of Liverpool and Man City are capable of both controlling the play as well as carving open defences. Liverpool’s midfield was always seen as more workmanlike than their rivals’, though Thiago Alcantara’s arrival changed its dynamic.
In contrast, United’s midfield when containing Fred and Scott McTominay struggle to get the ball forward with pace or incision.
De Jong would remedy that and help to bring what Pogba was expected to provide when re-signed in 2016.
The classy Dutchman is capable of controlling a game’s tempo by himself and has a keen eye for a pass. The fact he is also well known to Ten Hag and his system should ensure he can hit the ground running if signed.