Revenge for Ronaldo? Man City plan De Jong hijack

FT Desk
  • FT Desk
  • Updated: 12 May 2022 15:24 CEST
  • 3 min read
FT Desk Updated: 12 May 2022 15:24 CEST 3 min read
Frenkie de Jong, Barcelona, 2021-22

Manchester City could enact their revenge on Manchester United for hijacking Cristiano Ronaldo last summer by giving them a taste of their own medicine.

City were on the brink of signing Ronaldo from Juventus in the final days of the 2021 summer transfer window, only for United to step in at the last minute.

In dramatic circumstances, Ronaldo completed a return transfer to United after 12 years away from Old Trafford.

Man Utd hijacked Man City's move for Ronaldo last year

Man Utd hijacked Man City's move for Ronaldo last year

One year on and City could be about to get their revenge, according to Mundo Deportivo.

This time the player in question is Frenkie de Jong.

Manchester United are in negotiations to sign the Barcelona midfielder, with respected journalist Gerard Romero even going as far as to claim that the deal is “95 per cent done”.

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Barcelona are open to selling the Dutchman, who has failed to fulfil his potential at Camp Nou since arriving in 2019 from Ajax, for financial reasons.

However, Mundo Deportivo report on Thursday that Man City are now preparing their own move for De Jong.

After announcing the blockbuster transfer of Erling Haaland earlier this week from Borussia Dortmund, manager Pep Guardiola has now set his sights on strengthening the centre of midfield.

Fernandinho will depart on a free transfer, meaning that City will need to sign at least one central midfielder to replace him.

Declan Rice and Jude Bellingham have both been considered but De Jong is available for far cheaper and appears more suitable for Guardiola’s type of football.

Pep Guardiola is a fan of Frenkie de Jong

Pep Guardiola is a fan of Frenkie de Jong

Pep had already tried to sign De Jong in 2019, only for the Dutchman to reject him for Barcelona.

Guardiola is now set to try again and Mundo Deportivo claims that Bernardo Silva could be offered in part-exchange.

Bernardo wished to leave City a year ago and would be tempted by a move to Barca, whose manager Xavi is said to be a big fan.

Also in City’s favour in their attempts to sign De Jong is the fact that the 25-year-old would rather be at a club who plays Champions League football.

Man Utd failed to qualify for next season’s competition and will either take part in the Europa League or Europa Conference League.

However, working in United’s favour is incoming manager Erik ten Hag, the manager who developed De Jong into the player he is today at Ajax.

The next days could be very interesting as the Manchester rivals potentially go head-to-head for another player.