Frenkie de Jong would be a ‘brilliant signing’ for Manchester United, says John Barnes, as Old Trafford club look for midfielders to replace Paul Pogba with Barcelona open to a cut-price sale
- Paul Pogba is expected to leave Man United when his contract expires
- Old Trafford club are considering options to replace him in their midfield
- John Barnes believes Barcelona’s Frenkie de Jong would be the perfect signing
- Barcelona are reportedly considering a sale after their Champions League exit
Frenkie de Jong would be the ideal replacement for Paul Pogba in Manchester United’s midfield, according to John Barnes.
United have been linked with the Barcelona midfielder as they weigh up potential signings for when Pogba’s contract expires next summer.
Holland international De Jong, 24, could offer the perfect blend of defensive awareness and attacking impetus in what has become a problematic area for United.
Frenkie de Jong could be a midfielder option for Manchester United to replace Paul Pogba
Pogba’s contract at Old Trafford expires in the summer and he is expected to move elsewhere
John Barnes believes De Jong would be the ideal replacement for Pogba at United
Reports have suggested Barcelona would be open to a sale as they look to recoup cash after their early exit from the Champions League but United would be sure to face competition for De Jong’s signature.
Former Liverpool and England midfielder Barnes, however, believes he should be top of their shopping list.
‘Frenkie de Jong would be a brilliant signing for Manchester United,’ he told BonusCodeBets.
‘It looks like Paul Pogba is on his way out of the club so bringing in a replacement for him is very important.
‘Especially if that person is a young and talented player who will get the opportunity to be one of the main players at the club.
‘He has everything in terms of passing range, intensity and a great attitude. It’s exactly what Manchester United needed in midfield.’
Barnes also believes De Jong coming in would be good news for another Dutchman who was supposedly the answer to United’s midfield quandary but has barely played.
De Jong (right) in action for Barcelona during their draw with Sevilla on Tuesday evening
He added: ‘That was their plan with Donny van de Beek but of course he’s been stifled by other players in his position playing better than him.
‘However, bringing De Jong in and putting him straight into the side and being trusted would be good for both Manchester United and him.’
De Jong has played 114 matches since Barcelona paid £77million to buy him from Ajax in July 2019. Reports have suggested he could now be available for as little as £47m with ailing Barca in need of the money.
Donny van de Beek has struggled to find his feet at United but De Jong could help him
Pogba, who is working his way back to fitness from a hamstring injury, is about to enter the last six months of his contract and the last opportunity for United to get any return on their £89m investment from 2016 is to sell him in January.
The France midfielder, 28, has been linked with Real Madrid, Paris Saint-Germain and Juventus.
United’s interim manager Ralf Rangnick has already made it clear he won’t make any effort to try and convince Pogba to stay if he doesn’t want to play for the club.
Rangnick’s side are expected to return to action on Monday with a trip to Newcastle United, having seen their last two Premier League fixtures against Brentford and Brighton postponed following a Covid outbreak in the squad.