Manchester United Transfer News: The Red Devils are working to finalize a deal for Frenkie de Jong and are banking on Lionel Messi to be proven correct.
Before moving to Paris Saint-Germain, De Jong connected with seven-time Ballon d’Or winner Messi during his high-profile transfer from Erik ten Hag’s Ajax to Barcelona in 2019. Then-manager Ronald Koeman has already discussed how he purposefully included Messi in discussions with De Jong concerning his development.
Messi also predicted that the young midfielder will succeed and reach a “better level,” and Koeman said that he thought De Jong was a “great player.”
While since Messi’s forecast he has struggled to progress at Barcelona. United would hope that shows something he is capable of achieving if they persuade him to Old Trafford.
Manchester United Transfer News: What did Koeman say?
“This is your second season; you have to take a step higher now. You need to do more than simply play along,” I told Frenkie when I arrived, Koeman said in a previous interview with De Telegraaf. Although this seems harsh, he understood the message.”
“I advised him to assume more accountability. I told him to get into the opposition’s box even more. I brought up Messi in these conversations as well. Messi praised Frenkie’s talent. Due to his desire to be surrounded by only football players, he feels at ease with players like Frenkie.
“Messi discusses his feelings for Frenkie when the three of us are together. Because Messi thinks Frenkie can perform at a far better level, he always wants to activate him.”
Dutch players are signed by Erik Ten Hag
De Jong has played 140 times across all competitions since joining Barcelona from Ajax for a sum of £64.6 million in 2019. He scored 13 goals and helped Xavi Hernandez’s team to the Copa Del Rey title in the 2020–21 season.
Not only De Jong but other Dutch players are also expected to join United in the near future. Tyrell Malacia, a left-back, will join Ten Hag’s team for £13 million.
United is searching for a flexible forward who can play anywhere along with the front three as the Red Devils strive to improve their attacking line after negotiations for the Netherlands duo are finalized.
Several departures might be ready to occur with Malacia and De Jong expected to arrive. Dean Henderson, a goalkeeper, will be going on loan to Nottingham Forest.
Malacia’s arrival might mark the end of Telles and Willams
Malacia’s arrival is also expected to result in the departures of fellow left-backs Alex Telles and Brandon Williams from United this summer.
Crystal Palace and Fulham, two teams in the Premier League, have been connected to an interest in midfielder Andreas Pereira. The midfielder is presently on loan at Flamengo of Brazil. He will play his last match for the team this week before returning to Old Trafford in time for preseason.