Manchester United have a deal in place to sign Barcelona midfielder Frenkie de Jong this summer, according to reports.
Erik ten Hag could make his former Ajax player his first signing at Old Trafford as he prepares to replace Ralf Rangnick as the club’s manager.
Ten Hag will take charge of United at the end of the season and is expected to be backed in the summer transfer window.
The Red Devils look set to be in the market for reinforcements at full-back and up front, but the most pressing need is arguably in the centre of the park.
Nemanja Matic and Paul Pogba will leave the club when their contracts expire on June 30, while question marks remain over the suitability of Fred and Scott McTominay for a team which aspires to compete for the biggest trophies in the game.
The Netherlands international thrived under Ten Hag’s management at Ajax, before making the move to the Camp Nou in 2019.
He has struggled for consistency this season and could be let go this summer as Barcelona look to bring in some money.
The Blaugrana need to sell at least one first-team player in order to fund their own incomings.
Xavi Hernandez supposedly considers De Jong expendable, and Ten Hag is keen to work with his former charge again.
United, who were linked with De Jong before he joined Barcelona three years ago, still have to agree personal terms with the Dutchman but that should be relatively straightforward.
The Red Devils will conclude a disappointing campaign against Crystal Palace next weekend, by which time they may have slipped to seventh in the Premier League table.
United will need to finish in the top six to qualify for next season’s edition of the Europa League.
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Greg Lea is a freelance football journalist who's filled in wherever FourFourTwo needs him since 2014. He became a Crystal Palace fan after watching a 1-0 loss to Port Vale in 1998, and once got on the scoresheet in a primary school game against Wilfried Zaha's Whitehorse Manor (an own goal in an 8-0 defeat).
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