Barcelona midfielder De Jong has been linked with a summer switch to Old Trafford
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It was under incoming United boss Erik ten Hag that De Jong starred so notably at Ajax. De Jong has been identified as a transfer candidate by United, according to reports in the Catalan press, who claim Ten Hag is hoping he can convince his former player to join him in the Premier League.
While it is understood that such a deal is not as close as suggestions from Barcelona claim, there is an interest from Ten Hag and United in exploring the possibility of a transfer switch. Such a deal would see the two link up alongside Donny van de Beek – who impressed alongside De Jong in that Ajax midfield – at Old Trafford.
United’s need for overhauling their squad is well-known with Ten Hag needing to revolutionise the starting line-up, but what better way to start than bringing in De Jong? He has already found the player’s best form which has also maximised that of Van de Beek.
Ten Hag has since never hidden his admiration of De Jong, speaking to UEFA.com of his compatriot’s talents, he said: "He is always calm and always has the solution. He scans so well that he always knows how to go forward. You can hardly put him under pressure – that is such a great gift."
While United must move away from their previous model of spending big transfer fees on individual players, the signing of De Jong would be part of a clear and coherent thought process on how Ten Hag wants his new side to play – and his availability is a unique market opportunity which the club should look to take advantage of.