Man Utd line up double bid for ‘best friends in football’ as Ten Hag eyes ‘reunion’

Jason Soutar
Reported Man Utd targets Frenkie de Jong and Matthijs de Ligt
Frenkie de Jong and Matthijs de Ligt with the Man Utd badge

Manchester United could use Frenkie de Jong’s best friend in football as a tactic to convince the midfielder to leave Barcelona this summer, according to reports.

De Jong has been perpetually linked with a move to Old Trafford since Erik ten Hag’s arrival before the 2022/23 season.

Ten Hag managed the Barcelona star at Ajax and was desperate to sign him in his first summer at the club but the player was not interested.

He did not want to leave the Catalan club and was also not convinced by the project at Man Utd, especially with the club in the Europa League, not the Champions League.

👉 Man Utd boss Ten Hag takes brutal swipe at England boss Southgate after Serbia win
👉 Ignore Ten Hag blueprint and Netherlands can go far: Man Utd flop Weghorst rescues Koeman

Funnily enough, the Red Devils would end up knocking the Blaugrana out of the Europa League in 22/23 after the latter finished third in their Champions League group.

Man Utd eventually turned their attention elsewhere after spending two months failing to convince De Jong, signing Casemiro from Real Madrid for over £60million.

Barcelona were open to selling De Jong in 2022 and accepted a bid from the Premier League giants, which clearly gave them a false sense of hope.

There was the occasional rumour last year and as we enter the 2024 summer window, it is being claimed that Ten Hag will try again, although this time, he has a trick up his sleeve.

Frenkie de Jong to Man Utd? Erik ten Hag has a plan…

According to reports in Spain, Barcelona president Joan Laporta is willing to sell the 27-year-old for as little as €60million (£51million), when he was worth around €85m two years ago.

It is claimed that De Jong’s ‘continuity at Barca is once again in question’ as Laporta looks to free some space on the wage bill as the player ‘has no intention of lowering his salary’.

Man Utd are ‘back in for him’ as a result. In the club’s ‘orbit’, Ten Hag is ‘trying to convince him’ to leave the La Liga giants.

The Red Devils are boosted by another pursuit. The report adds that ‘everything indicates’ that Matthijs de Ligt ‘will leave Bayern Munich this summer and head to Manchester United’.

De Ligt is De Jong’s ‘best friend in football’ and could help convince him to relocate from Barcelona to Manchester. On second thoughts…

📣 TO THE COMMENTS! Will Man Utd finally sign Frenkie de Jong this summer? Join the debate here.

This potential ‘reunion’ with Ten Hag would come nearly seven years after the pair first met at Ajax.

In Ten Hag’s first full season at Ajax (2017/18), they shocked Europe by reaching the last four of the Champions League, historically losing to Tottenham via a Lucas Moura hat-trick in the second leg.

De Jong was a ‘fundamental’ piece of that team and that is why the Man Utd boss ‘has been asking for his signing since he arrived in England’.

With two years left on his Barca contract, the Netherlands international might be tempted to play with his old pal at Old Trafford.

👉 More: Man Utd news | Erik ten Hag archives | Bespoke Premier League tables