Lionel Messi has made Frenkie de Jong prediction Man Utd hope comes true

Manchester United are looking to wrap up a move for Frenkie de Jong – and they will hope his former teammate Lionel Messi will be proved right.

De Jong’s big-money move from Erik ten Hag’s Ajax to Barcelona in 2019 saw him link-up with seven-time Ballon d’Or winner Messi before his move to Paris Saint-Germain. Ronald Koeman, manager at the time, has spoken in the past about how he deliberately integrated Messi into his talks with De Jong about his progress.

And Messi predicted that the young midfielder would go on to achieve big things and reach a “higher level” with Koeman revealing he believed De Jong to be a “fantastic player”. Whilst he has struggled to kick-on at Barcelona since Messi’s prediction, United will hope that proves something he can achieve if they tempt him to Old Trafford.

“When I arrived I told Frenkie: ‘This is your second season, you have to make a step higher now, you need to do more than just play along’,” Koeman told De Telegraaf last year. “This sounds cruel, but he got the message.

“I told him to take more responsibility. To arrive in the opponent’s box more. During these conversations I also involved Messi. Messi told Frenkie that he is a fantastic player. He becomes happy around a player like Frenkie, because he wants to have pure football players around him.

“When we talk with the three of us, Messi shares his opinion towards Frenkie. He always tries to activate him, as Messi believes that Frenkie can reach a much higher level. He finds him a very intelligent player.”






Frenkie De Jong of FC Barcelona


Frenkie de Jong is set to join Manchester United
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Fran Santiago/Getty Images)

How important of a signing would Frenkie de Jong be for Manchester United? Have your say in the comments section.

Since arriving at Barcelona from Ajax for a fee of £64.6m in 2019, De Jong has played 140 times in all competitions for Xavi Hernandez’s side, scoring 13 goals and helping the Catalonia side win the Copa Del Rey in the 2020/21 campaign.

De Jong is not the only Dutch international set to be signing for United in the coming days. Ten Hag’s side have also agreed to sign left-back Tyrell Malacia for £13m, in a deal that could rise up to £15m in potential future add-ons.

Once deals for the Netherlands duo are completed, United are targeting a versatile forward who can play across the front three as the Red Devils look to bolster their attacking line.

With Malacia and De Jong set to arrive, a number of departures could be about to take place. Goalkeeper Dean Henderson has been heavily linked with a loan switch to recently-promoted Nottingham Forest.

Malacia’s arrival is also set to lead to fellow left-backs Alex Telles and Brandon Williams both leaving United this summer, with Malacia and Luke Shaw set to battle it out for minutes at left-back in the upcoming campaign.

Midfielder Andreas Pereira has also been linked with interest from Premier League duo Crystal Palace and Fulham. The midfielder is currently on loan at Brazilian side Flamengo and is set to play his final game for the club this week before returning to Old Trafford ahead of pre-season.

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