The Red Devils have made him their chief target for the summer thanks to the appointment of Erik ten Hag. The Dutch tactician and the young Dutch midfielder worked to great effect for two seasons at Ajax Amsterdam before the Eredivisie club got £65 million from Barcelona for his services in 2019.
The 25-year-old has enjoyed a fairly successful time at Camp Nou as he is one of the more important players in the side. He has averaged over 30 league appearances since he joined and averages more than 40 games for the Catalan club.
However, he has not really hit the levels he showed at Ajax and with the Netherlands national team since his move from the Johan Cruijff Arena. But his talents are not in doubt and this has led to continued interest in his services.
Bayern Munich and Juventus were once interested in taking him off Barcelona’s hands but the Spanish giants managed to hold on. Times have changed now as the club is in a financial mess which requires doing all they can to make some money to be able to operate in the transfer market as well as in the Spanish top flight next season.
De Jong is still one of the club’s most valuable players and Barcelona are hoping, according to reports, that they can find a good deal that will see him leave the club. They have set an £80 million price tag and are holding out for nothing less from Man United, who appear to want him the most.
And for the umpteenth time, the Netherlands international and future Oranje captain has stated that he has no intention of leaving Barcelona, his dream club.
The international break ended on Tuesday and the midfielder is preparing to return to Barcelona for pre-season preparations. In his last interview with the Netherlands team, De Jong was asked again about the links to United to which he responded, “You are always flattered when teams show interest in you as a player.
“But I think I am at the biggest club in the world at the moment and feel fine there so there is no news.”
United have lost four midfielders for free this summer and are desperate for replacements. It is good for ten Hag, who wants to build a new squad but at the moment, it looks bad for the manager as they have been unable to convince any of their targets to make the switch to Old Trafford.
The club can hope, in De Jong’s case, for success in their efforts as Barcelona’s financial situation could lead to the midfielder leaving Camp Nou as he currently is their most valuable non-La Masia player.
The next few weeks will be interesting to observe.