Paris Saint-Germain head coach Mauricio Pochettino has previously described Manchester United transfer target Frenkie de Jong as a ‘fantastic player’.
The midfielder, who is currently on the books of Spanish heavyweights Barcelona, is understood to be of interest to United ahead of this summer’s transfer window. The Manchester Evening News understands that the club is weighing up a £ 75million move for his signature.
This summer will mark the beginning of a new dawn at Old Trafford and incoming manager Erik ten Hag is expected to make huge changes to the first-team squad. A number of faces are expected to depart and signings are not set to be in short supply.
READ MORE: Barcelona manager Xavi responds to Manchester United interest in Frenkie de Jong
Strengthening United’s midfield will be amongst Ten Hag’s leading priorities, with that area of the team attracting the most criticism this season. The club is crying out for a defensive-minded midfielder and one that can get on the ball and dictate patterns of play.
De Jong certainly ticks the box of being a ball-playing midfielder. He is considered to be one of the best midfielders in Europe and at 25 he still has plenty more to offer.
De Jong was attracting no shortage of praise and plaudits from a young age, so much so that he earned special recognition from Pochettino. The Argentine waxed lyrically about the Netherlands international ahead of Tottenham Hotspur facing Ajax in the Champions League semi-finals back in 2019.
Ajax had enjoyed a fairytale run to the last four of the competition, knocking out both Real Madrid and Juventus in the last 16 and quarter-finals respectively. De Jong played a key role in that run, starting all but one of their Champions League games that season.
“I can understand why Barcelona have paid that much for De Jong,” said Pochettino, speaking back in April 2019 ahead of the first leg. “He’s a fantastic player, he’s the one who’s impressed me most in Ajax’s squad.
“Of course Ajax are not just De Jong. There are various players with a lot of quality and capacity there.”
Although he was still playing for Ajax at the time, Barcelona had already reached an agreement to sign De Jong that forthcoming summer. Since joining Barcelona, De Jong has continued to make steady progress, particularly under current head coach Xavi. He has made 45 appearances in all competitions this season, scoring four goals and claiming five assists.
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