Manchester United are eyeing up a dream swoop for Barcelona midfielder Frenkie de Jong as Erik ten Hag aims to strengthen his side ahead of next season.
The Dutch manager will be looking at rebuilding a stagnating Man Utd squad and taking them back to challenging Manchester City and Liverpool for domestic honours.
In order to do this, the Premier League side needs quality in all areas and a winning mentality which hopefully the new coach can bring having won silverware at Ajax.
One move that the club must make is for Barcelona midfielder Frenkie de Jong. United’s opening bid for the player was rejected last week, with the La Liga side holding out for a deal worth €100m (£85m) to convince them to sell.
Ten Hag has worked with the player when they were both at Ajax and this relationship can only be beneficial for United going forward as they look to add some star quality to the squad.
FB Ref’s similar player model has compared de Jong to Real Madrid’s Luka Modric and the two share the ability to go about their business without much fuss or fanfare and this is exactly what United needs going forward.
Both players possess excellent passing ability, with de Jong (91%) and Modric (90%) giving their respective sides the best chance for success by consistently making accurate passes.
Modric is the master of creating big chances during the season (10) and while de Jong (3) trails, there is no doubt that the Croatian international’s experience is a big factor behind this stat.
The Dutchman certainly appears to be better defensively than Modric making more tackles per game (1.1 to 0.6) and being dribbled past less (0.3 to 0.8).
These are attributes that will be a big bonus if he does join Man Utd, with their shoddy defence, he could help the side on both fronts, attacking when required and also providing effective defensive support.
If the 25-year-old – who was dubbed a “pure genius” following his move to Spain – keeps improving, he may well go on to surpass Modric.