Man Utd swoop for £85m star could now be hijacked by Old Trafford rivals

Incoming Manchester United manager Erik ten Hag on the touchline

Manchester United are facing up to a ‘potential problem’ in their pursuit of Barcelona star Frenkie de Jong as rivals Manchester City could look to hijack a move to Old Trafford, according to transfer insider Dean Jones.

Erik ten Hag is set to become the Red Devils’ new manager at the end of the season and it appears he has already put his summer plans in place.

What’s the latest news involving de Jong?

According to ESPN, Manchester United are facing an uphill battle in their bid to welcome de Jong to the Premier League.

The report suggests the 40-cap Netherlands international is keen to remain with Barcelona and would only entertain heading to a Champions League club if he is told he has no future at the Nou Camp.

Manchester United are not de Jong’s only suitors as Manchester City are understood to be mulling over whether to make a summer move due to boss Pep Guardiola being an admirer.

Spanish sources have revealed that Barcelona would be willing to sanction the 25-year-old’s departure if an offer worth in the region of £85million is lodged.

Despite the uncertainty over his future, de Jong has been a key cog of his current employers’ midfield this season and Barcelona boss Xavi has described him as ‘extraordinary’.

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What has Dean Jones said about de Jong?

Jones understands ten Hag is keen to welcome de Jong to the red half of Manchester when he arrives at Old Trafford.

But the transfer insider believes the Red Devils’ neighbours could gazump them in their bid to strike a summer deal.

Jones told GIVEMESPORT: “United are interested in de Jong, but if he becomes available they face a potential problem – Manchester City like him too.

“City enquired about Paul Pogba recently and it would not surprise me at all if they move for Frenkie if they get the impression he is genuinely on his way from Barcelona to Old Trafford.”

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Why is de Jong of interest to ten Hag?

De Jong’s £65million move to Barcelona was only possible after an impressive spell under the tutelage of ten Hag at Ajax.

The central midfielder made 59 appearances under his fellow countryman and, despite being a more defensive-minded figure, he also chipped in with three goals and four assists.

Ten Hag and de Jong won a domestic double during their time together in Amsterdam, while he has also gone on to win the Copa del Rey, so there is no doubting that he would bring a winning mentality to Manchester United.

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