After being questioned on social media about the possibility of a move to Old Trafford, Frenkie de Jong’s fiancée joked about the day he will ‘arrive’ at Manchester United. The Red Devils are known to be long-term admirers of De Jong, whom they tried to recruit last summer but were unable to do so due to his desire to stay at the Nou Camp.
The Dutchman emerged as Erik ten Hag’s primary target and was the subject of a protracted and drawn-out chase for his contract until United gave up and instead signed Casemiro from Real Madrid. However, the chance of a future deal has remained strong in the months after the summer transfer window closed, with United still reported to be interested in bringing De Jong to Old Trafford.
On Monday, the player’s girlfriend, Mikky Kiemeney, was asked by an Instagram user when De Jong would be in Manchester, and she spent no time in responding with a smart comment. She responded with a screenshot of United’s schedule, which includes their forthcoming home match versus Barcelona later this month, with the caption: “23-2 I assume.”
De Jong will be in Manchester before the end of February to play for Barcelona versus Manchester United in the second of two legs of the Europa League knockout rounds. He’ll be anxious to put in a great performance for the Catalan giants in order to ensure their progression in the crucial match, while an influential performance will also show Ten Hag what he’s missing at United after failing to sign the 25-year-old during the summer.
The Red Devils manager is said to be interested in bringing in another midfielder ahead of next season, but his goal will allegedly be to bring in a new first-choice striker to lead the attack for the foreseeable future. United signed a stopgap answer in the form of Wout Weghorst last month, but will certainly be anxious to spend big when the transfer market reopens later this year.
Meanwhile, De Jong is under contract with Barcelona until the summer of 2026 and has emerged as a crucial player under Xavi this season. He has played the full 90 minutes in each of Barcelona’s previous three games, but there is still a risk that the club could be forced to unload high-value players in the summer to alleviate their well-documented financial problems.
Ten Hag is said to believe that De Jong would fit well with his group at United and is eager to review the possibility of bringing him to the club after the current season concludes. He had handled the Barcelona playmaker when in charge of Ajax and stated at the time that he is better as a box-to-box midfielder than as a deep-lying midfielder, implying that he could thrive with Casemiro and Bruno Fernandes at Old Trafford.
“We’ve really been looking for ways to exploit his skills in the best way possible,” Ten Hag remarked at Ajax in 2019. “Where can he best contribute to the team and exhibit his talent? Everyone was yelling that Frenkie has the most talent, but where?
“In the middle of the field? But, which role? His strength is that he improves the performance of the forwards. He is a wanderer, an adventurer, and he moves like a shark. Often with the ball, but often without it. So if you put him on [as a] six, he’ll be gone too much.
“But you must allow him freedom if you are to get the most out of him. It wasn’t an easy task, but I went with two sixes and one attacking mid. In this manner, we can also dominate the half-space and force opponents to make a choice.”