Man Utd targets £74m phenom who might be an ‘extraordinary Fred upgrade’

The high-profile chase of Frenkie de Jong by Manchester United came to an end without a reward as the curtain was being drawn on the summer transfer window; nevertheless, recent rumours suggest that the club may revisit their earlier interest in the player.

What’s the most recent update?

The interest shown by the Red Devils in De Jong during the summer of 2016 was as intense as a blazing fire. Efforts made to secure the signature of the FC Barcelona maestro resulted in tweets from individuals such as Sky Sports Germany reporter Florian Plettenberg stating that a transaction was “on the verge” of being finalised.

However, as the summer transfer saga dragged on, the Dutchman’s arrival in Manchester moved further and further away from being a reality. The player ultimately decided against making the move owing to Manchester United’s inability to qualify for the Champions League.

And now, the Manchester Evening News is reporting that United manager Erik ten Hag has not given up hope on reaching an agreement, which indicates that the club is still open to the possibility of making a bid to acquire him.

It is said that the manager of United considers him to be a talent on par with the best in the world.

A Fred upgrade

A major accomplishment for the red side of Manchester, the signing of De Jong would be a statement signing that epitomises a brilliant new dawn under the direction of ten Hag. To surge back into the pool and emerge with De Jong in tow would be a monumental feat.

Since making the move to Barcelona in 2019 from his boyhood club AFC Ajax in a deal worth £65 million, De Jong has maintained his status as one of the premier midfielders in football. He has made 157 appearances for Barcelona, scoring 15 goals and 19 assists, and winning the Copa del Rey in the season 2020/21.

During his tenure with La Blaugrana, he has been a ray of sunshine for the team, recording an average rating of 7.28 in La Liga this season, averaging a pass success rate of 90%, making 1.5 tackles and 1.2 interceptions per game.

The Red Devils’ midfield would see seismic change as a result of the improvement, which would create a sense of stability and a basis for significant development.

Old Trafford’s Fred has earned an average rating of 6.71 in the Premier League so far this season, despite the fact that he has only completed 81% of his passes from his hardworking position and that he averages only 0.8 tackles and 0.7 interceptions per game. This is in comparison to the success that the 50-time national team player has enjoyed.

The Brazilian forward Fred, who was acquired from Shakhtar Donetsk for a transfer fee of £52 million plus bonuses, has largely failed to live up to the price tag. There is a pervasive feeling that the Theatre of Dreams’ central engine would receive a huge lift with the entry of De Jong, thereby bolstering the collective fortunes of the squad.

In the summer, Man United came to an agreement to pay Barcelona £74 million for the 25-year-old player, but their offer was ultimately unsuccessful. Now, a deal needs to be made once more for this “amazing” midfield genius – as termed by Louis van Gaal – because he will inflict a blow to the opponents facing the Red Devils and lead the renowned club to success once more.

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