De Jong quizzed on Man Utd transfer links
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Manchester United slumped to defeat against Atletico Madrid on Saturday. Joao Felix scored the only goal of the game for Diego Simeone’s side, inflicting a first defeat on Erik ten Hag in the process. But it’s clear from the showdown that if the Red Devils can land Frenkie de Jong, Bruno Fernandes and Christian Eriksen can shine alongside the Netherlands international.
Manchester United have spent nearly three whole months pursuing De Jong.
The Barcelona star is Ten Hag’s main objective for the summer transfer window, with the pair previously working together at Ajax.
United have put all their resources into a deal and, though they’re being linked with Youri Tielemans, Sergej Milinkovic-Savic and Ruben Neves as well, De Jong is their main aim.
On Saturday, the Red Devils locked horns with Atletico Madrid in Norway.
And though they lost 1-0, both Fernandes and Eriksen showed their class throughout the showdown.
If United do land De Jong, it’s feasible the Barcelona star will be deployed as an anchor to protect the back four.
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And Eriksen and Fernandes would likely play further ahead, with the pair given license to show their creativity and create chances for the club’s forward.
Last season, Fernandes blew hot and cold after his form appeared to suffer from Cristiano Ronaldo’s blockbuster return to Old Trafford.
But he’s looked in fine fettle during pre-season and, against Atletico, was a threat throughout the contest.
Fernandes helped to create a fine chance for Marcus Rashford, with his excellent pass finding the England international whose shot was then saved by Jan Oblak.
In the second half, he nearly set up Anthony Elanga with a neat pass out wide – with the Sweden international just unable to get to it.
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Fernandes also stayed on when Eriksen came on and got stuck in in the middle of the park, helping to dictate the tempo of the game.
And Eriksen himself was outstanding, too.
United signed the Denmark international earlier this month, with the 30-year-old arriving on a free transfer following the end of his short-term Brentford contract.
And though the former Tottenham star had just 20 minutes to make his mark, he did exactly that.
Eriksen came close to finding Elanga with a stunning ball into the box, only for the outrushing Oblak to prevent the pass from finding it’s mark.
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And he also set up a fine opportunity for Harry Maguire, who was unable to find the net.
Fred also deserves a mention, too, though the Brazil international’s late red card soured his afternoon.
United remain committed to the De Jong deal and believe that, despite the obstacles in their way, it will finally get done.
But Kevin Campbell, speaking to Football Insider, thinks Milinkovic-Savic should be the signing the Red Devils make if they’re unable to acquire their No 1 target.
“He’s a really top player,” he said.
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“He has been linked with Arsenal and Newcastle as well. If Man United come into town and put the money down, I think Lazio’s ears will really prick up.
“Is it a risk? I don’t think so. I have watched him play. He is an exciting player.
“Yes, he has never played in the Premier League before. He might take a little bit of time to adapt but I’m confident he could cut it here.
“Frenkie de Jong is a player Ten Hag already knows. He knows what he brings and what he can get out of him so I understand why he would be the preference.
“But if they cannot get De Jong, Milinkovic-Savic would be a great option.”
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