Manchester United may very well be forced to explore alternatives if Frenkie de Jong does indeed determine to stick with Barcelona beyond this summer. Developments emerged on Wednesday night claiming latest boss Erik ten Hag is eyeing a reunion along with his former Ajax midfielder, with the deal ’95 per cent done’ based on reports in Catalonia.
However the fallout on Thursday suggests De Jong would in actual fact favour staying at Barcelona after just three seasons in Spain – despite United’s interest being described as real.
Barca are arguably the instigators of any deal after deciding they might be open to offloading the Dutchman attributable to their continued financial struggles off the sector.
They’re also fearful his resale value could plummet if he fails to deliver next season given he’s yet to fulfil his potential at Camp Nou since arriving from Ajax for £65million in January 2019.
Nonetheless, the truth of any deal is that United would should pay a premium to land their goal – one that might significantly dent their summer transfer budget. That is one big problem in itself, given there are several departments in desperate need of investment.
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The Croatian international has five goals and eight assists to his name in 27 outings this season, his debut campaign in France having signed from Dinamo Zagreb in 2021.
Transfermarkt value Majer at just £16m and it won’t be long before clubs come calling. This is precisely where United must be shopping in a risk-free market with exciting rewards.
De Jong is undeniably a cut above Majer but with the proper coaching and tactical blueprint from Ten Hag, there is no such thing as a reason why United cannot construct around his qualities.
While Majer does favour a complicated midfield role, he also has the power to play because the No 8, a job he’s played on many occasions this season.
The left-footed maestro wouldn’t cost a reasonably penny and on the ripe age of 24, he is barely going to enhance United’s midfield options.
Ten Hag needs not less than two latest recruits in that department and potentially more with Paul Pogba and Nemanja Matic heading for the exit door.
Majer is heading in the right direction to develop into certainly one of the most-talked-about, up-and-coming midfielders in Europe’s top-five leagues and it won’t be long before his value skyrockets.
United can still pay big bucks for one more midfielder but Majer is where the club must be shopping.
In Ten Hag, they’ve a coach able to turning water into wine, as we’ve got seen with Ajax’s academy stars and the Croat has a considerable ceiling. It could prove to be a masterstroke – while saving them upwards of £50m in the method.