Five players whose Man Utd careers ten Hag can revive
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Barcelona cannot afford to reject Manchester United’s opening offer for Frenkie de Jong, according to reports. United are said to have made a bid worth up to £68m for the Holland star which is set to be accepted.
De Jong is United’s top midfield target this summer as Erik ten Hag attempts to put his stamp on his squad. And it appears he could be getting his man.
Spanish outlet Marca says Barca’s financial situation means they cannot say no to the offer, which is an initial £50m plus £17m in add-ons. Club chiefs believe it is the only big offer they will receive this summer for a player they are willing to sell.
Pedri and Ansu Fati are the only two players Barca view as essential and not for sale. Boss Xavi wants to make signings of his own and cannot do so until he raises funds.
Therefore, Marca says the sale of De Jong could be the most important in the club’s history. Xavi is happy with the player but the offer is too high to turn down.
De Jong has been reluctant to leave so far. Barca are his dream club and the report says he feels he can progress his career with them.
However, he could change his mind due to United’s insistence to sign him and pressure from the Barca board for him to leave. De Jong had a couple of years under Ten Hag at Ajax earlier in his career.
Former Ajax midfielder Marciano Vink believes De Jong has what it takes to make a crucial impact at Old Trafford. Vink told ESPN FC: “I know Frenkie a little bit and he is an eager player. He wants to prove himself.
“He is not satisfied with his role, he is not satisfied with his performance at Barcelona. For sure he wants to do better and he wants to prove to everybody that he’s the right man.
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“But as long as Busquets is playing in his role, it’s going to be very difficult. For me it’s a no-brainer to go to Man United and link up again with your former manager and just give Man United a new face.
“For me that’s more challenging than waiting for Busquets to retire. I do believe that Man United is going to be the place where he can develop and also help Man United get back to where they belong.
“He is a special player, he’s a guy who can dribble, who can put players on the wrong foot, he can create situations. He is a leader and I do believe that Man United is lacking leaders.
“Of course they have great players but leaders besides [Cristiano] Ronaldo, I don’t see them. You need somebody to make the transition from defence to midfield and start directing the player.”
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