Manchester United boss Erik ten Hag could make Frenkie de Jong his first signing.
Ten Hag knows the star better than most, having worked with De Jong at Ajax when the 24-year-old first broke through the ranks at the Amsterdam giants. The recently-appointed United manager utilised the player in his midfield three and as a centre-back during his time as De Jong's manager.
With United in dire need of new blood in midfield, there could be an opportunity to snap up De Jong and give him a new lease of life under the manager that he played arguably his best football for.
Spanish outlet Sport (opens in new tab) say that not only does Ten Hag have a transfer kitty of around £250m to spend this summer, but the 52-year-old has outlined his former protege as a priority signing.
De Jong agreed a deal with Barcelona for a fee upwards of £50m in 2019, during the season in which Ajax journeyed to a Champions League final. The Dutchman has struggled to replicate the same kind of match-winning performances in Catalonia, however, and is has not replaced Sergio Busquets as the 'pivote' in the Blaugranas' side.
There could be added reason to believe that De Jong will this summer end his spell in LaLiga, given the incendiary reaction he showed to being substituted last night.
Xavi's side tumbled to defeat at the Camp Nou to a resolute Rayo Vallecano side who have this season completed an unlikely double over the club. Barça were missing the talismanic Pedri in midfield and looked a shadow of themselves creatively. When De Jong was replaced in the second half, the midfielder stormed down the tunnel rather than taking his place on the bench.
Barcelona are facing the prospect of losing La Masia gem Gavi, with the youngster running down his contract and Liverpool among the high-profile sides interested in his services. In a straight choice between the two, it is perhaps more likely that De Jong would be sacrificed for transfer: Manchester City, Arsenal and Liverpool could all rival Manchester United for his signature.
Frenkie De Jong is valued at around £63m by Transfermarkt (opens in new tab).
More Manchester United stories
There are big rumours about a busy summer at Old Trafford: Ten Hag apparently wants to bring three Ajax stars with him to the Premier League, Youri Tielemans is a potential arrival in midfield and Sergej Milinkovic-Savic is also on the radar.
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Mark White has been a staff writer on FourFourTwo since joining in January 2020, writing pieces for both online and the magazine. Over his time on the brand, he has interviewed the likes of Aaron Ramsdale and Jack Wilshere, written pieces ranging on subjects from Bobby Robson's season at Barcelona to Robinho's career, and has been to the FA Cup and League Cup finals, working for FFT.
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