Man Utd: £56m star 'open to Ten Hag project' at Old Trafford

Manchester United boss Erik ten Hag deep in thought

Manchester United target Frenkie de Jong would rather stay at Barcelona than move to Old Trafford this summer, according to transfer insider Dean Jones.

However, Jones has told GIVEMESPORT that the 25-year-old is still very much open to joining the Red Devils if he does have to leave the Camp Nou.

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What is the latest news involving De Jong?

According to The Guardian, United have agreed an initial £56.2m deal with Barcelona to sign De Jong this transfer window, though that is expected to rise after add-ons.

In February, De Jong stated that he was “very happy” at the La Liga outfit and suggested that he wanted to stay at the club for many more years.

However, Barcelona’s financial crisis has left them in a situation where they have to consider selling the Dutchman.

Discussing De Jong back in May, Barcelona boss Xavi said (via MailOnline): “For me he is a very important player. He has been a starter almost all the time. He is a fundamental footballer but then there is the economic situation, on which we all depend.”

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The former Spain midfielder later went on to add: “He is a player that I like a lot, but we will see what the situation is.”

What has Jones said about De Jong to United?

Jones has told GMS that although De Jong’s preference is to remain at the Camp Nou, he is still willing to move to Old Trafford this summer.

“Frenkie still would prefer to remain at Barcelona as far as I understand it, but if he has to leave, then he is open to this project at Man United,” the journalist said.

“Let’s be honest, he’s going to be paid extremely well. He’s going to get to play a role in that team that will suit him probably better than the role he’s been playing at Barcelona.”

Is Erik ten Hag right to make De Jong a priority?

Some United fans may not be happy with the idea of signing a player who is not enthusiastic about joining their prestigious club, but bringing in a midfielder of De Jong’s quality is too good of an opportunity to turn down.

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

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For any manager who wants his team to play on the front foot and dominate possession, De Jong is the perfect player to have. And looking at his Ajax team, you would expect that to be the kind of philosophy Ten Hag tries to implement at Old Trafford.

Therefore, even if De Jong has some doubts, he is one name United have to get through the door this summer.

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