Manchester United have been unsuccessful in their pursuit of Frenkie de Jong, who has stated that he has no desire to join the Red Devils (Sport).
Ten Hag, in my opinion, should stop wasting time trying to persuade the Dutch international and instead hire a superior option in the form of Sergej Milinkovic-Savic.
The Serbian international has long been connected with the Old Trafford club, and reports last month suggested that United were interested in the versatile midfielder.
According to La Gazzetta Dello Sport, Manchester United was unwilling to spend 100 million euros three years ago, but the player can now be tempted by Lazio for a sum of only £51.2 million (60 million euros).
Milinkovic-Savic is an all-around midfielder. He excelled in the DM/deep-lying playmaking role, pulled strings in the CM role, and scored and produced goals in the AM role.
Last season, the Serbian international played primarily in the middle midfield for the Serie A club, contributing directly to 23 goals (11 goals and 12 assists) across all competitions.
De Jong, on the other hand, who has also played in the CM role for Barcelona, has contributed directly to 30 goals since joining the Catalan club (138 appearances). He had four goals and five assists in all competitions last season.
United have lost their most creative central midfielder in Paul Pogba, and Milinkovic-Savic is more suited to take his place at Old Trafford.
Paul Merson, a retired footballer, believes the 27-year-old is a top-tier player. He stated (according to The Daily Star):
“Savic is a wonderful player.” A true top-tier performer. Based on his performance for Lazio last season, I believe he is the best midfielder in Italy.”
“I know Manchester United has been linked with him in the past, but I’m not sure why there isn’t a queue of clubs lining up to sign the Serbian.”
Ten Hag evidently likes De Jong because the Dutch midfielder excelled under his tutelage at Ajax. However, the 25-year-form old’s with Barcelona has been poor, and he refuses to join United.
In such a case, should Manchester United press for the signing of Sergej Milinkovic-Savic? What are your thoughts?