Netherlands legend urges De Jong to complete Man Utd switch as he is ‘out of place’ at Barcelona

Jason Soutar
Netherlands midfielder Frenkie de Jong with his teammates

Former Tottenham man Rafael van der Vaart has urged Netherlands midfielder, Frenkie de Jong, to swap Barcelona for Manchester United.

De Jong has been identified as one of Erik ten Hag’s top priorities this summer as he looks to turn the Red Devils’ fortunes around

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Following their sixth-place finish in the Premier League last term, a high number of players have been linked with a move to Old Trafford.

Several Ajax – who Ten Hag managed until the end of 2021/22 – players are reportedly on the Dutchman’s radar, including Antony, Jurrien Timber and Lisandro Martinez.

And several factors count toward De Jong emerging as a top target for the Old Trafford club; such as Barcelona’s financial situation, United’s desire and need to sign a new central midfielder, and the player’s relationship with Ten Hag having worked together at Ajax.

Unfortunately for the Premier League outfit, their fondness has not been reciprocated, with De Jong looking to stay at Barca despite their apparent desire to offload him so they can raise funds.

Despite this, and numerous reports, suggesting he will reject any advances from United, a report on Friday indicated that the 25-year-old is now open to the idea of joining.

A move to Old Trafford has been backed by former Netherlands international, Van der Vaart, who believes De Jong is “out of place at Barcelona” and can thrive in England, outlining the importance of reuniting with Ten Hag.

“That is of course the most ideal,” Van der Vaart told Ziggo Sport (via Manchester Evening News). “Then you have a trainer who knows exactly what you can and cannot do.

“And United still need a little quality.”

On what De Jong would bring to United, the former Spurs attacking midfielder added: “There are players who can do the same and maybe be better than you or have performed more.

“As long as those other players are there, he is out of place at Barcelona. At United he could play more like with the Dutch national team. Then he’s the only one of his kind.”