Man Utd could play Erik ten Hag trump card as former Ajax superstar ‘up for sale’

Manchester United chiefs could potentially lure in Erik ten Hag as Barcelona star Frenkie de Jong has reportedly been listed for sale by the Catalan side. De Jong worked under the Dutchman at Ajax, and could be the missing ingredient to make United tick, as well as a useful addition to the pulling power needed to tempt the manager to England.

Current boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has been forced to watch on over a tense international break as speculation continues to swirl regarding his future.

A dismal 2-0 home defeat by Manchester City has been left to fester for almost two weeks, reminding everyone associated with the club that results need to change.

Thrashings at the hands of Leicester and Liverpool came before that, leaving the Red Devils nine points off the early Premier League pace.

With a tie against Watford edging closer, however, it appears as though Solskjaer will get another chance, although a lack of alternatives may have played its own part in that decision.

The likes of Ten Hag, Mauricio Pochettino and Brendan Rodgers have all been linked, although all three are currently contracted to other clubs.

United could potentially lure in the Ajax boss, however, by making a move for midfield extraordinaire Frenkie de Jong.

According to El Chiringuito, Barca have listed the 24-year-old up for sale in the hope of raising significant cash.

New boss Xavi recently made his emotional return to the club as manager, and is sure to need funds to invest in the transfer market, given the club currently sit in over £1billion worth of debt.

De Jong is an expert at taking the ball in tight spaces, and would in theory be a perfect fit into one of United’s two holding midfield spots.

A deal is made even more tempting in light of the fact that many respected figures have called for that position to be strengthened by the United board over the coming transfer windows.

The midfielder spent two years working under Ten Hag in Amsterdam, becoming a pillar of the side as they fought their way to the Champions League semi-final in 2018/19.

Luring in that calibre of player may be exactly what United need in light of recent comments made by Ten Hag, which suggested that he is in no hurry to abandon Ajax mid-season.

“I always want to improve my team, and as long as I feel this motivation I want to keep going, if Ajax wants that too,” he told ESPN.

“I am happy at Ajax. I can work there in a good way.

“The conditions and the climate are good. Good management and very nice staff, and not to forget I have a very good group of players, which is also flexible.”

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