How Man United can sign Erik ten Hag’s no1 transfer target with help of Premier League rivals

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 (Manchester United via Getty Imag)
(Manchester United via Getty Imag)

Manchester United could be helped by a Premier League rival to land Frenkie de Jong, new manager Erik ten Hag's key summer target.

United are reportedly locked in talks with Barcelona over the Dutch midfielder with Ten Hag pushing the club to step up efforts in the face of hesitation from De Jong.

“Of course I [see the United rumours]," De Jong this week said. "But I have not heard anything from the club, so I assume that nothing is concrete, or that an agreement has already been reached. Then there's no point in worrying about it."

He added: "Barcelona has always been my dream club, from an early age. It still is."

 (AFP via Getty Images)
(AFP via Getty Images)

Barcelona are open to selling, with a fee of around £72million mooted by various outlets, and have earmarked three possible replacements.

First up, Monaco's Aurelien Tchouameni - the most in-demand player in Europe - was head coach Xavi's first-choice target but with Real Madrid and Paris Saint-Germain also in the mix, the price tag soon soared beyond £70m and is now out of reach.

Closer to home, is Martin Zubimendi of Real Sociedad. However, money is again a problem as La Real are reportedly refusing to negotiate so the player’s £51m release clause must be paid.

That leaves Wolves midfielder Ruben Neves, coincidentally once of interest to United. Xavi has reportedly spoken to the Portugal international about a summer move and, perhaps unsurprisingly, the midfielder is very keen.

Neves to Barcelona is catching steam as, according to Diario Sport, Barca believe they can knock down the price by offering a youngster as part of the deal. Ez Abde, Nico Gonzalez, Alejandro Balde, Riqui Puig or Oscar Mingueza have been proposed as options.

So, should Wolves bend to Barcelona’ will, then that could save the day and pave the way for De Jong to head to Old Trafford. As Ten Hag gets settled into his new role, a reunion with a familiar face would not go amiss.

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