Five players whose Man Utd careers ten Hag can revive
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Manchester United reportedly believe that a deal for Frenkie de Jong will progress quickly enough to book in his medical next week. There were doubts over whether the Dutchman could be convinced to ditch Barcelona, but a personal Erik ten Hag intervention looks to have turned the tide.
Ten Hag has had tunnel vision for De Jong from the moment he took over at United. Recruiting a star midfielder was at the top of his in-tray with Paul Pogba among the raft of players poised to leave the club when their contracts expire.
United’s pursuit of De Jong has not been plain sailing, however. Earlier this month he publicly stated that he would prefer to carry on at the Camp Nou, adding that playing for Barcelona was a ‘childhood dream’. While this might have put the Red Devils off in previous years, Ten Hag seems undeterred and an official bid has already been made and rejected.
La Blaugrana are reportedly holding out for around £70million, but transfer insider Graeme Bailey claims that United will come back for more and are confident that they can progress to the point of a medical by next week.
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Catalan reports indicate that De Jong is still not enamoured with the idea of leaving Barca, but Ten Hag’s personal touch seems to have got the wheels turning. The 25-year-old has supposedly been promised a critical role in United’s midfield as they bid to get back into the Champions League, and Barcelona may need to sell regardless due to their financial situation.
Completing the deal would see the new United boss reunited with his former Ajax duo of De Jong and Donny van de Beek. The latter has had a torrid time since arriving at Old Trafford almost two years ago, but Ten Hag’s arrival provides a golden opportunity for a fresh start.
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Pressing on for De Jong has provoked a mixed response from fans, given that the player has hardly shown a real desire to play for the club. Nevertheless, his arrival would be a real statement and a welcome morale boost after watching bitter rivals Liverpool close in on attacking target Darwin Nunez.
The United hierarchy are set for a long summer given that De Jong’s arrival will likely be followed up by a host of other new faces, including a striker, a centre-back and a right-back. Inter Milan transfer chief Piero Ausilio is reportedly in London to conduct transfer meetings, with Denzel Dumfries interesting the Red Devils as a possible replacement for Aaron Wan-Bissaka.
Jurrien Timber and Pau Torres have both been heavily linked to Old Trafford in recent weeks as defensive options, but rumours have quietened as United’s De Jong pursuit heats up. Fans are sure to read intense transfer links throughout the summer due to the scale of the rebuild Ten Hag faces, and co-owner Avram Glazer recently suggested that he will have plenty of cash to play with.
“We hired [Ten Hag] because he’ll do a great job,” Glazer told Sky Sports. “Last season was disappointing for everyone and we’re going to work next season to make sure it’s a better season. We’ve always spent the money necessary to buy new players.”
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