Dutch midfielder Frenkie de Jong prepared to join Manchester United from Barcelona 

Man United and Barcelona have agreed on a fee for midfielder Frenkie de Jong after protracted negotiations. 

Frenkie de Jong

According to transfer specialist Fabrizio Romano, MU will have to pay Barcelona a total of 85 million euros in exchange for De Jong’s appearance. The transfer cost is 65 million euros, and the other 20 million euros are surcharges.

Although both parties are still in the process of discussing the terms and extras, the overall cost will fall within the package of 85 million euros. As soon as the surcharge problem is resolved, MU will begin negotiating personal arrangements with De Jong. 

Not long ago, MU sent the first request to Barcelona for De Jong, costing 60 million euros plus a surcharge of 10 million euros, but it was turned down by the La Liga representative. As of now, the two sides have found common ground after several conversations. 

Following a prolonged search, Man United is poised to secure what they need—the signing of De Jong. In an effort to rebuild the Red Devils, new manager Erik ten Hag has identified the Dutch midfielder as his top transfer target for the summer of 2022. 

Even if it seems fairly probable that Frenkie de Jong will end up at Old Trafford, it appears that the midfielder is not very satisfied. 

On ESPN, the 25-year-old player openly stated that he did not want to go to MU: “I’d rather stay at Barca. Since I was a kid, this has been my dream club. That is all I can say. I never looked back after joining this club. A small part of me hopes to win more titles, though. Overall, I have no regrets about choosing Barcelona.”

Sources in Spain have also revealed that De Jong entirely disregarded Erik ten Hag’s interest, who was his former coach. De Jong even did not answer any personal calls the Dutchman placed to his Ajax student. 

Even though De Jong will almost probably play for the Red Devils next season, the player, who was born in 1997, stubbornly declined to speak on his future with MU in the media.

It is clear that the Dutch midfielder is fiercely committed to staying put rather than playing at Old Trafford. De Jong reportedly put up a fight, but Barcelona reportedly pushed him to leave because they desperately needed the money to manage their financial problems.

In the upcoming days, it’s anticipated that the De Jong transaction with MU will be fully finalized. So how will Erik Ten Hag make use of his old student at Ajax?

Ten Hag let players play the 4-3-3 formation at Ajax, so it stands to reason that he could enable MU to play the same system entirely. The approach Ten Hag takes will rely on the players he has available, but generally speaking, Ten Hag’s ability to lead MU in kicking a 4-3-3 is still seen as very likely. 

With this setup, De Jong can be positioned directly above the Red Devils’ four-man defense. Of all the MU midfielders, De Jong kicks the lowest. De Jong stated that he wants to be the first defender to receive the ball, hence this is thought to be his favored position.

De Jong has the ability to link up with other MU midfielders and send the pass to the flanks for wide attackers. 

Frenkie de Jong

On the other hand, Ten Hag is tactically adaptable and does not always rely on a single plan. At MU, he can do it once again by allowing the Reds to play 3-4-3. 

Ten Hag admires De Jong for his ability to distribute the ball and disperse pressure. He previously hailed De Jong’s superb pressuring skills in 2019.  

“De Jong is usually calm and knows how to solve a problem. He can scarcely be pressured by the opponent.”

The Times also claims that Ten Hag’s strategy to place staff in the center of MU has been made public. 

It is widely known that Manchester United has rejected all offers for midfielders Fred and Scott McTominay from rival clubs, particularly Newcastle. Although both players were underappreciated last season and were thought to have contributed to the Red Devils’ collapse, coach Erik ten Hag did not share that opinion. 

The same source claims that the Dutch military commander judged that McTominay and Fred could not perform to their full ability because they had not received adequate training. Furthermore, the former Ajax captain sees the Brazilian and Scottish midfielder combo as crucial building blocks in the new dynasty he is establishing at Manchester United. 

Of course, De Jong would be guaranteed an official position in the 4-3-3 configuration that Erik ten Hag loved to use. He also thinks that Fred’s physical strength and movement will be very helpful in deploying the ball from the base. 

McTominay, a 25-year-old midfielder, will serve as an anchor to “clean up” the midfield in this situation. However, Ten Hag’s preferred formation can restrict the range of attacking midfielders like a number 8 or number 10 like Bruno Fernandes and Van de Beek.

Given such knowledge, it is likely that the 52-year-old tactician will commonly employ the midfield defense combination of Fred, McTominay, and De Jong. Fans of the Red Devils should presumably hope that Ten Hag was accurate in his assessment of the “McFred” couple’s case and that they did not repeat the mistakes of their forebears.

2019 saw the 86 million euro move of De Jong from Ajax to Barca. He has played in 138 games for the Catalan giants throughout three seasons, scoring 12 goals and dishing out 17 assists. By agreeing to sell the 25-year-old star to MU for 85 million euros, Barcelona will almost return its investment. 

Given that the 2022 summer tour is rapidly approaching, MU has not yet added any rookies. The Red Devils trained for the first time under Ten Hag on June 27. On July 12, MU will play Liverpool in Thailand to open the summer tour of 2022.