Can Manchester United Finally Land De Jong?
With the summer transfer market in full swing, there will be plenty of football fans hoping to pop into sports shops in Manchester and pick up a shirt that can have their team’s latest signing emblazoned across the back.
For Manchester United fans, however, this has yet to happen, with many expressing frustration that the club has not yet confirmed any new signings, while several out-of-contract players such as Paul Pogba, Juan Mata and Edinson Cavani have left the club.
Hopes are rising, however, that this is about to change, with United reportedly close to an agreement with Barcelona for midfielder Frenkie de Jong.
If the Dutchman does arrive at Old Trafford, he will be a key component in new boss Erik Ten Haag’s plans to rebuild the team, playing in a deep-lying midfield position that has been identified as a key weakness for United in recent years.
The pair worked together at Ajax in the team that was seconds away from reaching the 2019 Champions League final, before Barcelona swooped for De Jong.
United have also been linked with a last-minute swoop for Feyenoord left back Tyrrell Malacia, who had been set to leave the Europa Conference League runners-up for Lyon.
Much attention has been paid to the Dutch market, with Ajax wing-back Jurrien Timber having been expected to follow his old coach to Old Trafford before former United manager Louis Van Gaal, now the Dutch national team coach, warned he might lose his place in the World Cup squad if he wasn’t playing every week – comments that appear to have put the player off.
While Ten Haag looks to bring some new players in, many fans might be putting old replica shirts featuring the names of departed players in the cupboard.
The same will be true for Manchester City fans, who can celebrate the arrival of Erling Haaland and probably Leeds midfielder Kalvin Philips too, but are set to say goodbye to Arsenal-bound Gabriel Jesus, while Raheem Sterling is closing in on a move to Chelsea.