Frenkie de Jong to Man Utd: How Ajax signed midfielder for €1 from Willem II in 2015

  • Rob Swan
Roy Keane names his best Manchester United XI of Premier League era

Manchester United are reportedly close to signing Barcelona midfielder Frenkie de Jong in a deal worth up to €80 million.

The news was broken by journalist Gerardo Romero on Wednesday evening, per Football Espana, and it’s claimed there’s a 95 per cent probability that the transfer will go through over the coming weeks.

Romero adds that Barcelona’s decision to sell De Jong is purely due to financial reasons. To ease the club’s financial concerns, the Catalan giants are now prepared to cash-in on the Netherlands international, who arrived at Camp Nou from Ajax for €86 million in 2019.

De Jong was sensational during his final season at Ajax, where he flourished under United’s incoming manager, Erik ten Hag.

The Dutch duo, who reached the Champions League semi-finals together in 2018-19, are now poised to reunite at Old Trafford ahead of the 2022-23 campaign if Romero’s information is correct.

Erik ten Hag with Frenkie de Jong at Ajax
MADRID, SPAIN – MARCH 05: Erik Ten Hag, Manager of Ajax gives instructions to Frenkie de Jong (21) during the UEFA Champions League Round of 16 Second Leg match between Real Madrid and Ajax at Bernabeu on March 05, 2019 in Madrid, Spain. (Photo by David Ramos/Getty Images)

It’s unclear whether Ajax inserted a sell-on clause as part of the big-money deal that saw De Jong leave Amsterdam for Barcelona.

The Eredivisie outfit made a staggering profit on the midfielder when they sold him three years ago.

Per The Mirror, Ajax’s former director of football Marc Overmars was the brains behind the deal which saw De Jong join the Dutch giants from Willem II in 2015.

Frenkie de Jong playing for Ajax in 2018
AMSTERDAM, NETHERLANDS – AUGUST 14: Frenkie de Jong of Ajax in action during the UEFA Champions League third round qualifying match between Ajax and Royal Standard de Liege at Johan Cruyff Arena on August 14, 2018 in Amsterdam, Netherlands. (Photo by Dean Mouhtaropoulos/Getty Images)

How did Ajax manage to sign Frenkie de Jong for €1?

Unusually, though, Ajax only paid a ’symbolic’ €1 fee – yes, that really is €1, not €1 million – for the talented youngster, per The Sun’s Dream Team and others.

However, there’s no need to feel too sorry for De Jong’s first club, Willem II.

The Dutch outfit reportedly secured a 10 per cent sell-on clause as part of the deal, banking on the prospect of De Jong developing at Ajax before being sold for a big profit.

And it was a gamble that paid off handsomely. AS reported in 2019 that Willem II stood to make a cool €7.5 million as a result of their forward thinking, although it would actually have been €8.6 million if the €86 million fee that Barça reportedly forked out is accurate.

In any case, Willem II reportedly received a fee that was in excess of their annual budget.

Decent business, that!

Will Frenkie de Jong sign for Manchester United?

While De Jong has blown hot and cold during his three seasons with Barcelona, his arrival would still be seem as a huge coup for Man Utd, who could be playing in the Europa Conference League next season.

The arrival of Ten Hag might be enough to convince De Jong that better times are just around the corner for the Red Devils, who are poised to lose the services of their current star midfielder, Paul Pogba.

But in order to complete the deal, United may need to fend off other top European clubs, including neighbours Manchester City.

Barcelona's Frenkie de Jong could join Man United
UNSPECIFIED – UNSPECIFIED DATE: In this handout screengrab released on April 24, Frenkie de Jong speaks during the Laureus World Sports Awards 2022 Virtual Award Ceremony. (Photo by Handout/Laureus via Getty Images)

QUIZ: How many of these Champions League icons do you recognise?

1 of 20

Who is this former Champions League centre-back?

De Bruyne scored four as City win again (Football Terrace)

News Now - Sport News