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SPORTS UPDATE

Man United sure to land £50m Frenkie De Jong

Manchester United are reportedly confident they can close a £50m deal for Barcelona midfielder Frenkie De Jong to replace outgoing Paul Pogba.

United are said to have opened talks with the Catalan giants about a possible deal with new boss Erik ten Hag to bring in midfielders.

However, the 25-year-old may need more persuasion to leave than Barca to let him go after declaring earlier this week that he is at his ‘dream club’.

The financially handicapped Spanish club has to make cutbacks and boss Xavi would be willing to let the Dutch midfielder leave.

Although the former Ajax player would prefer to stay in Camp Nou and fight for his place in the selection, new boss Erik ten Hag would like to add the midfielder as a replacement for Pogba. The sun†

However, De Jong told ESPN earlier this week: ‘I’d rather stay at Barcelona. Barcelona is just my dream club. Also from an early age. I just said it too.

“I’ve never regretted my choice despite hoping for more in terms of awards than I’ve achieved so far. But I’ve never regretted my choice.’

The Dutch international played under Ten Hag at Ajax between 2016 and 2019 and would be available for around £65million if Barca can replace the 25-year-old with a big name.

De Jong has played 47 games for Barcelona in all competitions this season, scoring four times from midfield.

He joined Ajax from Ajax in 2019 for £64million, but players like Pedri and Gavi are ahead of him in the pecking order, which is why De Jong may have to give way to allow Barcelona to pursue goals like Robert Lewandowski.

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