De Jong quizzed on Man Utd transfer links
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Manchester United want to sign Frenkie de Jong. And, if they land the Barcelona star for £60million, he’ll jump above Angel Di Maria to become the club’s latest big-money signing. Should that happen, it will certainly put the 25-year-old in a special club over at Old Trafford.
It’s common knowledge that United want to sign De Jong this summer, with the Barcelona star Erik ten Hag’s No 1 target.
At the current moment in time, though, a deal is in limbo with the Red Devils unwilling to be held to ransom and be their La Liga rivals’ get-out-of-jail card.
United want to sign De Jong for a fee of £60million, plus add-ons. That’s despite Ten Hag making it clear behind the scenes how much he wants the midfielder, who he thinks is worth every penny.
And if they’re able to agree a fee for that amount, it will make the 25-year-old their fifth most-expensive signing of all time.
It would just edge out the £59.7million they paid for Di Maria eight years ago, when the Argentina international arrived from Real Madrid.
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United thought the forward would be a major addition, even handing him the club’s famous No 7 shirt worn by the likes of Cristiano Ronaldo, David Beckham, Eric Cantona and George Best.
But Di Maria lasted just a year at Old Trafford.
The Argentine refused to board the plane for the club’s pre-season tour in 2017 and, just days later, moved to Paris Saint-Germain where he’d go on to become a club legend.
Barcelona actually want £70m plus add-ons to let De Jong go, however.
And if the Red Devils pay that amount instead, it will still put the Netherlands international just behind Jadon Sancho.
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Sancho moved from Borussia Dortmund back in last year’s transfer window, moving for a fee of £73m.
He had a slow first year with the Red Devils, however, struggling for consistency under both Ole Gunnar Solskjaer and Ralf Rangnick.
But United believe that, under Ten Hag, Sancho can get back to his Dortmund best.
Romelu Lukaku, Harry Maguire and Paul Pogba also make up the rest of United’s record signings over the years.
Big things were expected of Lukaku when he moved from Everton in 2017, with Jose Mourinho beating former side Chelsea to the signing of the Belgium international.
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He initially did well, scoring 28 goals across all competitions during the 2017/2018 season.
But Lukaku fell out of favour under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer and was allowed to move to Inter Milan for a similar amount the Red Devils paid for him.
With Maguire, United are still waiting to get bang for their buck.
He touched down from Leicester for £80m just three years ago and, ahead of the Ten Hag era, is yet to live up to his price tag.
And then there’s Pogba.
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When United shattered the world transfer record to bring the midfielder back in 2016, many expected him to be a transformative addition.
But while the Red Devils won two trophies in Pogba’s first season, that was as good as it got for the midfielder.
Pogba will be remembered as a United flop, even if the club attempted to save face by thanking him for a ‘successful career’.
And whether De Jong, if he moves, can live up to his own price tag remains to be seen.
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