- Manchester United manager Erik ten Hag has reunited with former players at Ajax, signing Onana, Martinez, and Antony for the Red Devils.
- De Ligt, another former Ajax player, could potentially join if allowed to leave Bayern Munich, continuing the trend of reunions.
- Frenkie de Jong, a former teammate of De Ligt, has previously resisted Ten Hag’s efforts to bring him to Old Trafford, but his stance may have changed.
Manchester United manager Erik ten Hag has reunited with numerous former players since his appointment at Old Trafford in 2022. Goalkeeper Andre Onana, defender Lisandro Martinez and forward Antony have all signed for the Red Devils having played under Ten Hag at Ajax, while Sofyan Amrabat, has come in following time with the United boss at FC Utrecht.
This trend could yet continue, with the Premier League side in contention to sign Matthijs de Ligt if he’s allowed to leave Bayern Munich this summer. Like Onana, De Ligt was part of the Ajax side that reached the Champions League semi-finals in 2019 and was only denied a shot at glory by a dramatic late goal for Tottenham’s Lucas Moura in Amsterdam.
Another member of that team was Frenkie de Jong, but he’s been resistant to Ten Hag’s efforts to bring him to Old Trafford to this point. United agreed to pay Barcelona £63m to sign him in 2022 and then had to convince the player to make the move. However, De Jong has been stubborn about a move to Manchester, saying that he intends to stay at Barcelona.
De Jong now makes U-turn on Barcelona stance
Now, however, it seems that the midfielder’s stance may have changed. According to Spanish outlet Sport, De Jong would no longer “close the door to a possible exit” from Barcelona and will consider offers he receives this summer.
De Jong is currently the highest-paid player at the club after agreeing to defer some of his salary at the height of the pandemic, but Barcelona sporting director Deco has been trying to agree a new deal with a more manageable financial arrangement.
Up to this point, it’s been “impossible” to reach an agreement, with Barca making “no progress” towards a renewal. As such, “there are doubts” over whether he’ll stay at the club, putting United, Chelsea and PSG on red alert. They have already made it clear to the player’s entourage that they’re ready to sign him if he becomes available.
Barcelona need to sell a big player this summer to balance the books, but the decision will be left in the hands of the player. United and Chelsea are apparently willing to fork out £85m, while PSG are lurking in the background for the moment.
De Jong would be the perfect first signing for Ratcliffe
A new era is beginning at Manchester United this year, with Sir Jim Ratcliffe taking control of the sporting operation after buying a 25% stake in the club from the Glazers, and this would be the perfect blockbuster signing to kick things off.
Ratcliffe could blow Man Utd rival out the water to sign “sensational” star
Erik ten Hag is looking at a player who can operate in multiple midfield roles.
De Jong is truly a footballing A-lister, having been named the Champions League midfielder of the season in 2019 and made the FIFPro World XI alongside the likes of Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo.
2019 FIFPro World XI
Virgil van Dijk
Matthijs de Ligt
Frenkie de Jong
Ten Hag has refused to give up on signing the 25-year-old, who’s been dubbed “extraordinary” by current manager Xavi, and it suddenly looks like his persistence may just pay off in the months ahead.