Frenkie De Jong is still undecided over his future at Barcelona, and Manchester United have turned their attention to Manu Kone after Ralf Rangnick kept tabs on the midfielder
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Erik ten Hag is currently looking at Manu Kone as an alternative to Frenkie De Jong, as Manchester United wait for the Dutchman to make a decision over his future.
De Jong has been linked with a move to United ever since Ten Hag was announced as the new United boss, with the pair working closely at Ajax in the past. And the fact that De Jong could join up with former Ajax and Netherlands team-mate Donny van de Beek has only heightened rumours.
But while De Jong mulls over his future, Ten Hag has reportedly began to assess options from Ralf Rangnick’s shortlist. And Kone has stood out from the list that the former interim boss put together.
L’Equipe have reported that United have joined the likes of Atletico Madrid and Juventus in expressing interest in Kone, who has impressed at Borussia Monchengladbach. The 21-year-old only signed from Toulouse last summer, but has featured 27 times during his debut season in the Bundesliga.
Kone also managed two goals during that time, and helped his side finish tenth in the Bundesliga. Although Kone only signed for Monchengladbach last summer, he has been on Rangnick’s radar long before the German joined United last year.
United are in desperate need of midfield reinforcements, as they’ve been vulnerable in that area of the field all season under both Ole Gunnar Solskjaer and Rangnick. And with Paul Pogba, Jesse Lingard, Juan Mata and Nemanja Matic all set to depart, their situation has only worsened.
And their summer plans are not being helped by De Jong, who is still undecided over his future at Barcelona. It is thought that De Jong would prefer to stay and fight for his place at the club, but the Spanish giants remain in serious financial danger.
As a result, they could be forced to sell some of their star assets in the summer transfer window, with De Jong one of the players elected to make way. The Dutchman remains highly rated, but Pedri, Gavi, and Sergio Busquets are all seen as more important members of the squad.
But they’ve already started to prepare themselves for deals elsewhere, as Ten Hag is eager to get his summer rebuild underway. United do not want the situation to drag out any longer, and according to SPORT, United have demanded that they find out where he will be playing his football next term.
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De Jong has been eyed as United’s new no.8, as with their current crop of midfield stars departing, it leaves Ten Hag with just Fred, Scott McTominay, Van De Beek and Bruno Fernandes in the middle of the park. But with the Portuguese star used further forward, both De Jong and Kone are being monitored as a deeper option.
United’s system could be set to change, as Ten Hag regularly opted for a midfield three at Ajax, with De Jong being played alongside Lasse Schone and Van de Beek during Ajax’s iconic 2018/19 Champions League run.
Although De Jong has stated that he wishes to fight for his place, there have been reports stating that a deal worth £60m has been tabled. But United and Barcelona are awaiting the Dutchman’s decision before any transfer can materialise.