Man Utd: Ten Hag could make 'statement signing' in £102m star at Old Trafford

Manchester United manager Erik ten Hag

Manchester United target Frenkie de Jong would be a “big statement signing” by the Red Devils, says journalist Pete O’Rourke.

Manager Erik ten Hag will be looking to bring in a new midfielder this summer following confirmation that Paul Pogba will be leaving the club, and it looks like De Jong is high on his list.

What is the latest news involving De Jong?

According to Sky Sports, United have held talks with Barcelona over bringing De Jong to Old Trafford.

The same outlet states that Ten Hag rates the 25-year-old highly after managing him during their time together at Ajax, though no deal to reunite the two is thought to be close.

The above comes after United announced on Wednesday that Pogba would be departing the club at the end of the month when his contract expires.

During his second spell with the Manchester club, the Frenchman made a total of 226 appearances, winning both the Europa League and League Cup along the way.

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What has O’Rourke said about De Jong to United?

Given that they will not be competing in the 2022/23 Champions League, O’Rourke thinks United would make quite the statement by landing De Jong in the upcoming transfer window.

Speaking to GIVEMESPORT, the journalist said: “I think it would be a big statement signing. You’ve got a top young player who’s highly regarded, and luring him away from Barcelona to Manchester United, who are not able to offer him Champions League football, would be a statement that they can still sign the best players in the world even if they’re not playing in the Champions League.”

Why does Ten Hag want De Jong?

De Jong is the kind of midfielder who would help Ten Hag to transfer over his philosophy to Old Trafford, while the Netherlands international is also someone he obviously knows well.

As per FBref, De Jong has ranked in the 92nd percentile for pass completion, 94th for progressive carries and 95th for progressive passes received among his positional peers over the last year.

It shows that the former Ajax man, who Kevin Campbell called “phenomenal”, is extremely efficient at receiving the ball and moving it along.

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Rodrigo Possebon - Man United

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According to the CIES Football Observatory, De Jong has a value of £102m, which is obviously a lot of money. However, United may be able to get him for a lower fee if Barcelona do decide to sell him this summer.

The Spanish club’s financial crisis is still ongoing, with manager Xavi refusing to rule out the possibility of his midfielder being sold in the window because of it, so they may be forced to accept whatever offer comes in for him.

It would be a huge blow for Barcelona, while Ten Hag and United would undoubtedly be delighted.

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