And that’s why the Red Devils are now accelerating plans, with De Jong now appearing to be their top target.
If signed, it would see the 24-year-old reunite with Ten Hag in the Premier League.
The duo previously worked well together at Ajax, helping the Eredivisie outfit reach the final of the Champions League in 2019.
And Ten Hag hailed De Jong that same year, saying: “He is always calm and always has the solution. He scans so well that he always knows how to go forward.
“You can hardly put him under pressure – that is such a great gift.”
In a separate interview, he then said of the Barcelona star: “The quality of your players decide how you will play, and with what system. We had to find a way to make Frenkie function in the best possible way.
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The Serbia international has been professional throughout his time at the club but has failed to win a single trophy since touching down.
Pogba, meanwhile, is yet to clarify his future.
United have made the France international a new contract offer amid links to Real Madrid, Juventus and Paris Saint-Germain.
Manchester City had also been in the running to land Pogba at one point, in a move that would have had similarities to when Carlos Tevez crossed the divide in 2009.
Yet Pogba has ruled out a move to the Etihad Stadium at the current moment in time, despite Pep Guardiola being a big admirer.
In any case, it still seems as though the 2018 World Cup winner will leave United as a free agent for a second time.