The only way for Manchester United to remain among the elite teams in the English Premier League (EPL) is to constantly look for players who will be a good fit to their roster amid a cloud of strong opposition from the rest of the field.
The announcement of the Red Devils to agree with Barcelona to pay an initial €65 million upfront to pay Frenkie De Jong is a timely move given the La Liga squad’s eagerness to move the Dutch star midfielder, multiple reports have quoted sources as saying.
While no final deal has been officially announced, what can this move mean to Man Utd? Let’s explore the possibilities on how the 5-foot-11 Gorinchem native can make an immediate impact for manager Erik Ten Hag’s squad.
DE JONG TO COVER MULTIPLE DEPARTURES
The looming arrival of De Jong at Old Trafford comes with an immediate sense of urgency for the Red Devils, who are preparing to boost their midfield line following the departures of Paul Pogba and Nemanha Matic at the end of the season.
The decision of Matic to join Roma on a free transfer and Pogba to play for juventus created a big hole to fill for Ten Hagg, who has been longing to acquire De Jong to his team.
The familiarity dynamic is also in play here, as Ten Hag is no stranger to De Jong due to their previous partnership at Ajax.
The affable manager’s chemistry with De Jong means that it’s only a matter of time to integrate the Dutch footballer to Man Utd’s scheme of things as they brace for their return to the field in August.
FINAL DETAILS STILL BEING WORKED OUT
While the decision of Man Utd and Barcelona to agree on a deal for De Jong, there are still several details to be ironed out before making it official.
The total package for De Jong is unlikely to reach €100 million but both Man Utd and Barca are committed to work on the final figures of the agreement in terms of fixed fee and add-ons that will benefit De Jong.
Barca, which signed De Jong to €75 million after his stint from Ajax in 2019 along with €11 million in potential add-ons, will rely on the sale of 10% of their La Liga television rights to avoid gaining losses before the end of the year amid De Jong’s looming exit.
RED DEVILS NOT DONE AFTER DE JONG’S ARRIVAL
Make no mistake that Man Utd will settle for De Jong to boost their midfield line, as the club is looking for a couple more key pieces to add to their roster.
Aside from De Jong, the Red Devils are looking at Brazilian winger Antony as a versatile forward who can play multiple positions. But the decision of Ajax to put up an €80-million valuation might stall Man Utd’s plans.
Another player Man Utd is checking out is midfielder Christian Eriksen, who has a pending offer from Brentford after playing with the squad during the second half of last season, sources told ESPN.