Erik ten Hag has suggested that Manchester United remain keen on Frenkie de Jong, admitting that the Dutch star would “strengthen any squad”
The Red Devils spent much of the summer transfer window in 2022 attempting to put a deal in place with Barcelona for the cultured Netherlands international midfielder. La Liga giants were prepared to sanction a sale, but De Jong expressed little interest in reuniting with former Ajax boss Ten Hag at Old Trafford. Links with United have refused to go away though, with Barca still under pressure to cut costs at Camp Nou, and it may be that interest from England is rekindled in upcoming windows.
Ten Hag admits that he remains an admirer of De Jong, telling reporters of his fellow countryman heading into a Europa League knockout round play-off clash between United and Barca: “In 2019, there was a lot of fascination with that Ajax team. Frenkie brought a lot of that fascination and he has developed over the following years in Spain. He’s a fantastic player and has become even better. Playing out from the back, he always has time. It was a pleasure working with him. He would strengthen any squad in the world. He’s got unique quality.”
De Jong joined Barcelona from Ajax in 2019 and has gone on to take in 166 appearances across his time in Catalunya, while still being tied to a contract through to 2026.
Barca are set to play host to United in a crunch continental encounter on Thursday, with the return date at Old Trafford penciled in for February 23.