Manchester United will make the strongest bid to sign Barcelona midfielder Frenkie de Jong this summer, Spanish publication Sport claims.
The Red Devils have been heavily linked with the Netherlands international over the past few weeks, and there appears no end to the ongoing speculation over his future.
According to Sport, Barcelona are aiming to balance their books, and they need to recoup at least €50 million. De Jong is the player with the most suitors, as of now.
Among them, Erik ten Hag’s United are being fancied to make the strongest bid. The Dutchman wants the midfielder at Old Trafford as part of the rebuilding project.
Barcelona value De Jong at around €90m (£76m), but it is reported that they would also be willing to accept around €80m (£67.5m) to part ways with the Dutchman.
Manager Xavi Hernandez has plans to continue with the midfielder at Camp Nou, but has acknowledged that he is likely to be sold for a ‘dizzying offer’ on the table.
Ten Hag played a key role in De Jong’s development at Ajax. The 25-year-old was part of the 2018/2019 squad that reached the Champions League semi-final against Tottenham.
At Ajax, De Jong generally operated from the holding midfield position. It has not been the case at Barcelona where he has played centrally with Sergi Busquets behind him.
De Jong could play in his preferred position in the long run, but Barcelona’s ongoing financial concerns suggest that he may not be with the club beyond the summer transfer window.
Ten Hag will be backed with funds to rebuild United’s squad. The Dutch tactician could be keen on a reunion with De Jong, who has strong technical attributes to suit his playing style.
The midfielder has completed over 91 per cent of his passes this campaign. He has the knack for creating chances with through balls while he does not get dispossessed often.
In the current season, he has won just over one tackle per game, but his statistics have been superior in defensive midfield. He averaged 2.5 tackles during the 2018/19 Champions League campaign.