Manchester United have been linked with a summer swoop for Frenkie De Jong following Erik ten Hag’s appointment but the Barcelona star’s father has previously talked down the move
Frenkie De Jong’s father has claimed the poor weather conditions in England would count against Manchester United in their transfer pursuit.
The Red Devils are reportedly keen on the Dutchman ahead of their summer recruitment drive, which will be headed by new boss Erik ten Hag. De Jong worked with the current Ajax coach when he was coming through the ranks in Amsterdam and remains highly rated.
Central midfield is an area in which United need to bolster their options ahead of several key departures this term. De Jong has been identified as a candidate, according to Diario Sport, who claim Ten Hag is hoping he can convince his former player to join him in the Premier League.
De Jong has been at Barcelona since moving in the summer of 2019 for €75m (£63m). The Catalans are struggling financially and would welcome a hefty bid for some of their players, but the Dutchman is among those they would be more inclined to keep. De Jong faces competition from the likes of Gavi and Pedri.
However his father has suggested the climate in England would put him off a Manchester switch. “It’s often bad weather there. Of course it’s about football, but it does matter,” De Jong Snr told Dutch publication Algemeen Dagblad (AD) previously. “Of course I know that Barcelona needs money and a great offer for Frenkie could help, but I don’t see it happening anytime soon. Although, the five top European clubs have all called.”
De Jong still has years left to run on his current contract at the Nou Camp. He moved to Spain during a time of turmoil for the LaLiga giants but they now look to be on the up under Xavi, who was able to invest smartly in January and is set to spend again in the summer.
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The player turned coach has addressed the rumours circulating about De Jong’s future and, whilst admitting they have not discussed his next move, believes Barcelona is the best place for the Dutchman. “I haven’t talked with him about his future,” Xavi told reporters.
“He is playing at a very good level and has to continue here – he can be one of the best midfielders in the world for years to come. If it were up to me, I would continue here for many more years. He is very important and can mark an era here. He has to score, assist and he has to be the protagonist.”
United are poised to lose Nemanja Matic and Paul Pogba in the coming months. Declan Rice and Kalvin Phillips have both been touted as potential arrivals as United seek to add some stardust in the middle of the park.