Paul Scholes has admitted that he would like Manchester United to sign Barcelona midfielder Frenkie de Jong later this year.
The Red Devils identified De Jong as a priority target during the summer transfer window last year. Erik ten Hag previously worked with the midfielder during their time together at Ajax.
Man Utd pushed hard to sign De Jong and they even agreed a deal with Barcelona that could have been worth £75m including add-ons.
This move did not come to fruition though as De Jong reportedly made it clear throughout the transfer window that he had no intention to leave Barcelona.
Man Utd eventually gave up and targeted Real Madrid’s Casemiro instead. This transfer came together nicely and the Brazil international has been superb for the Premier League side this season.
United came up against De Jong and Barcelona on Thursday night as the rivals faced off in the first leg of their Europa League playoff tie.
The first leg finished 2-2 so it is all still to play for heading into next week’s return leg at Old Trafford.
Speaking before the game, Scholes admitted that he would like Man Utd to sign the centre-midfielder.
“Yeah of course,” Scholes told BT Sport when asked if United should sign De Jong.
“He is a wonderful footballer, I disagree slightly with Owen [Hargreaves] thinking he is better in the pivot position as a Busquets type.
“I think he was probably brought here to replace Sergio Busquets but Busquets keeps going. I think he is more suited to that role.
“I don’t think he [de Jong] likes playing in that forward role.
“But in my opinion, he is better in that holding role where he replaces Busquets.”
Ex-Man Utd midfielder Owen Hargreaves added that “all the big teams in the Premier League would love” to sign De Jong.
“You would love to see Frenkie de Jong play at Old Trafford, he can play deeper as a pivot or a little bit further forward which I think is his best position,” Hargreaves added.
“A fantastic footballer, can dribble and I think United fans will be looking out for him today but I’m sure all the big teams in the Premier League would love to have this guy because he makes you that much better.”
Earlier this week, Barcelona head coach Xavi revealed that De Jong made it clear to him last summer that he “wanted to stay”.
“I think he was really clear to me: he wanted to stay with us. So there was no doubt,” Xavi revealed.
“Now he’s our player, I’m really happy and satisfied with his performances, his leadership. He’s in a very good moment, like all the team. I think Frenkie is enjoying on the pitch and this is the most important thing.”
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