Frenkie de Jong appeared to react to a supporter’s claim that Erik ten Hag is aiming to recruit him for Manchester United as he wrapped up his season with Barcelona.
The Dutch midfielder has been linked with a move to Old Trafford since his compatriot was confirmed as the Red Devils’ new permanent manager. The pair forged a productive relationship at Ajax, potentially paving the way for them to work together again.
It remains to be seen whether United will be successful in securing his services throughout the summer window but one supporter is clearly hoping that the midfielder will be playing under Ten Hag next term – and let him know just as much after a friendly match earlier this week.
Following Barcelona’s 3-2 win over A-League All-Stars, De Jong made his way over to the fans to applaud. One over-enthusiastic supporter elected to chance his arm amid the latest transfer rumours and exclaimed: “Erik ten Hag is waiting for you!”
Whilst the midfielder did not confirm nor deny the rumours, he did allow himself a wry smile and a wave to the vocal fan. Having rounded off his post-match commitments with Barcelona, De Jong will now head off on international duty for the Netherlands’ upcoming UEFA Nations League matches having been handed a place in Louis van Gaal’s squad.
The Dutch are set to face off with Belgium, Wales and Poland before a return match against the Dragons next month.
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The player will hope to have finalised his future once he returns, with Barcelona under pressure to sell due to the dire financial situation at the Camp Nou. However, boss Xavi does not seem particularly enamoured at losing the Dutchman.
Speaking in a press conference earlier this month, he said: “I have said many times that Frenkie is very important. He’s a key player. Then there is also the financial situation of the club and it has to be decided. I’m not talking about Frenkie, in general.”
Meanwhile, the Catalan giants appear to have found a potential replacement should De Jong elect to leave Catalonia. Reports have suggested that they have agreed a deal to sign Valencia playmaker Carlos Soler.
In his time with Barca, De Jong has accumulated 139 appearances but has only lifted a solitary Copa del Rey. He still has over four years left to run on his current contract with the Spanish giants having joined from Ajax in the summer of 2019.
Elsewhere, the Red Devils are in severe need of midfield recruits heading into Ten Hag’s first season at the helm. Paul Pogba and Nemanja Matic are set to wave goodbye to Old Trafford this summer at the end of their contracts.
A number of candidates have been mentioned including Leicester ‘s Youri Tielemans, as well AS Monaco starlet Aurelien Tchouameni.