Manchester City rivals Manchester United for Frenkie de Jong
Manchester City have reportedly entered the race to sign Barcelona midfielder and Manchester United transfer target Frenkie de Jong.
According to a report by Files, uncertainty continues to hang over the future of Barcelona midfield stalwart Frenkie de Jong ahead of the summer transfer window. With Manchester United already interested in the 24-year-old, they have now been joined by neighbors and rivals Manchester City in their pursuit.
De Jong signed for Barcelona from AFC Ajax in the summer of 2019 in a deal worth €86m. He has been a regular for the team ever since and has made 136 appearances, scoring 13 goals and registering 17 assists. Although he wasn’t able to show his best consistently enough, the Dutchman is still considered a central part of the Camp Nou squad.
However, recent incidents have cast doubts over de Jong’s future at the club. The midfielder reacted angrily after being substituted in the loss to Rayo Vallecano last weekend and is believed to be growing increasingly frustrated at still being the first player to be taken off by the manager. This has led to speculation that the Dutch international could consider his future at Barcelona.
While Xavi Hernandez recently insisted de Jong won’t be sold, since then there have been reports claiming the Catalans are considering the possibility of a departure and would demand a sum of 70 million euros in exchange for the midfielder.
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Manchester United have become a potential suitor for de Jong. The Red Devils need to strengthen their midfield department this summer as Paul Pogba is set to leave when his contract expires. Moreover, Nemanja Matic will also leave Old Trafford. And with Fred and Scott McTominay not performing well enough, another quality central midfielder is needed.
With Erik ten Hag set to take over as Manchester United manager, Donny van de Beek should be given another shot at getting good. And the Dutch tactician plans to reunite van de Beek with his former midfield partner de Jong at Old Trafford. The duo played under ten Hags at Ajax and were brilliant in the 2018/19 campaign when the Eredivisie giants progressed to the Champions League quarter-finals.
However, Manchester City are now threatening the chances of a potential reunion, having decided to enter the race to sign de Jong. Pep Guardiola is considered a huge admirer of the Barcelona midfielder and wanted to sign him in 2019, ahead of his move to Catalonia. And now that Fernandinho is set to leave and Ilkay Gundogan is in his thirties, Guardiola and City are rekindling their interest in the 24-year-old.
Despite the heavy investment they plan to make for Erling Haaland, the Premier League champions should have the budget to bring in de Jong’s signing. And with the Cityzens guaranteed to offer Champions League football, unlike their neighbours, the Barcelona midfielder could be tempted to move to the Etihad this summer if he decides to leave the Camp Nou.