United are being heavily linked with Barcelona’s Frenkie de Jong, who used to play under Ten Hag at Ajax, and Crook says bringing in a No.6 like him is at the top of the Dutchman’s to-do list.
What is the latest transfer news involving United?
According to The Guardian, Ten Hag has made De Jong a target and wants his compatriot to be one of his first signings at Old Trafford.
De Jong joined Barcelona in an initial £65m deal from Ajax back in 2019 and has quickly become one of the Spanish side’s most important players.
This season, the 25-year-old has made 46 appearances for Barcelona, showing just how much they depend on him.
Away from De Jong, another midfielder who United have been linked with is Declan Rice. Multiple outlets, including The Sun, claim that they have an interest in the England star, though West Ham’s £150m valuation could potentially scare them off.
Man United DOWN TOOLS and get SMASHED by Brighton! Full reaction on The Football Terrace…
What has Crook said about Ten Hag’s summer plans?
Amid all of the De Jong talk, Crook has told GIVEMESPORT that Ten Hag has made signing a new No.6 this summer a priority.
Speaking to GMS, the talkSPORT journalist said: “Obviously, De Jong is a step up on what is there at the moment, and I think central midfield is their priority. Ten Hag’s already identified that as the area that needs the most surgery.”
Can United really land De Jong this summer?
Even a club of United’s clout could find it hard to prise De Jong away from the Camp Nou.
As already mentioned, he is a key player for Xavi, and his contract does not expire until 2026.
De Jong has also made it clear that he is happy in Spain, telling The Guardian back in February that he wants to stay at the La Liga outfit for “many more years”.
“I’m very happy I’m at Barcelona: from a young age I’ve wanted to be here, so in that way it has been a dream come true,” the Netherlands international said. “But I would have liked to win more trophies than we did in my first two years. I expected more in that sense, let’s put it that way.
“But other than that, I’m very happy here and hopefully for many more years.”
Of course, you can never say never, especially with Barcelona considering their financial troubles. But given his importance and happiness, it would be a bit of a surprise if De Jong did go on to join United in the upcoming transfer window.