The Red Devils have been heavily linked with a move for Barcelona’s De Jong in recent weeks, a former teammate of Van de Beek’s from their time together at Ajax.
What is the latest news involving De Jong?
In a recent interview, De Jong revealed that his desire is to stay at Camp Nou this summer, stating that Barca is his ‘dream club’.
“I prefer to stay with Barcelona,” the 25-year-old told ESPN Netherlands’ Pascal Kamperman on Tuesday. “Barcelona is just my dream club.
“Also, from a young age, I just said it too, I’ve never regretted my choice despite the fact that I had hoped for more in terms of prizes than I’ve achieved so far. But I have never regretted my choice.”
However, the Blaugrana are in financial turmoil and could be forced to sell if a suitable offer arrives, with transfer expert Fabrizio Romano disclosing that there has been ‘direct contact’ between the two clubs.
Although Romano states that there has been ‘no official bid’ made by United, De Jong’s price tag is believed to be around €85m (£72.5m).
What has Jones said about De Jong?
De Jong’s preference is clearly to stay at Barcelona, but Jones believes the chance to rekindle his formidable partnership with Van de Beek in the red half of Manchester would be appealing.
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When asked by GiveMeSport whether Van de Beek could make 2022/23 ‘his season’, Jones said: “I definitely think this is going to be a big year for him.
“One of the big selling points to get De Jong is that you get to partner him with Van de Beek a lot of the time, and Van de Beek is a really good player; it just didn’t work in the system that United were playing before.”
How important could Van de Beek be?
New United manager Erik ten Hag mentored both De Jong and Van de Beek when in charge of Ajax, with the trio winning a domestic double in 2018/19 while also reaching the semi-finals of the Champions League.
De Jong and Van de Beek played 80 senior games alongside each other in the engine room of their boyhood club, forming a fruitful partnership that outclassed many opponents.
With the dribbling and passing ability of De Jong complimenting the work rate and eye for goal that Van de Beek possesses, the two technically gifted stars thrived alongside one another, and United will be hoping they can rekindle their alliance at Old Trafford.