Transfer Talk: United receive boost in De Jong pursuit
Manchester United have received a boost in their pursuit of Barcelona star Frenkie de Jong as they look to revamp their midfield under Erik ten Hag next season.
According to reports in Spain, Barcelona will listen to offers for the Dutchman as they attempt to complete a deal for Valencia’s Carlos Soler — raising hopes of a move to Old Trafford.
A player of De Jong’s calibre is a priority for the Red Devils as Nemanja Matic has announced his plans to leave and Paul Pogba also looks to be heading to the exit door with his contract expiring this summer.
The talented central midfielder has featured 44 times in all competitions for Barca this season, scoring four times and providing five assists.
De Jong, 24, has the versatility and composure to play in defensive midfield, matching the profile of player needed to solve United’s problems.
It is no surprise that Ten Hag will be keen to secure his signature, having previously coached him at Ajax.
The Daily Mail report that several top European clubs will compete for his services with an expected asking price of £58million — £7m less than the fee the Catalan giants paid Ajax in 2019.
Camp Nou chiefs will be reluctant to let the talented 40-cap international depart but a move will make economic sense as the Blaugrana are believed to have debt totalling over £1billion.
United are also targeting Southampton set-piece specialist James Ward-Prowse and Lazio’s Sergej Milinkovic-Savic as they aim for a return to glory under Ten Hag.
Ward-Prowse has netted nine times in the league and provided five assists for the Saints this term, while Milinkovic-Savic has also impressed in Serie A.
In other news
Ward-Prowse is also on Antonio Conte's radar as Tottenham prepare for a summer overhaul with Brighton left-back Marc Cucurella also being targeted, according to reports in Spain.
Arsenal are lining up a move for 19-year-old Bologna left-back Aaron Hickey, who will be reunited with former team-mate Takehiro Tomiyasu if he makes the move to the Gunners this summer, claim Football.London.
The Mirror report that Newcastle are interested in signing 22-year-old forward Darwin Nunez from Benfica and have identified Everton star Dominic Calvert-Lewin and Bayer Leverkusen’s Patrik Schick as alternative options.