The Dutch midfielder is widely believed to be new Old Trafford boss Erik ten Hag’s top transfer target in his first job window as he plots a drastic overhaul of an underperforming squad.
United are saying goodbye to a host of midfielders this summer, including Paul Pogba, Jesse Lingard, Juan Mata and Nemanja Matic, making reinforcements in the middle of the park a particular priority in their overdue overhaul.
Reports suggest the Red Devils have made a bid to sign Brentford playmaker Christian Eriksen, but such a move would potentially be in addition to De Jong’s arrival, rather than instead.
United have been locked in talks with Barcelona over a deal for a player Ten Hag worked closely with at Ajax, although progress has appeared slow.
And while De Jong is clearly delighted to be the subject of such interest from the Premier League giants, he doesn’t seem to be in a rush to leave Camp Nou, believing Barca to be a bigger club.
“You’re always flattered when teams are interested in you as a player, but I think I’m at the biggest club in the world right now and I feel good there… so no news” , he told reporters.
De Jong was speaking after helping the Netherlands to another last-minute win over Wales in the Nations League on Tuesday night, with the Group A4 leaders emerging 3-2 victorious again after Memphis Depay dramatically canceled out Gareth Bale’s stoppage-time equalizer at De Kuip.
Club Brugge winger Noa Lang and PSV Eindhoven star Cody Gakpo had already scored within six minutes of the first half for the hosts, only for Wales to fight back thanks to Brennan Johnson’s late penalty and Bale, with Depay then scoring from the restart.
The Dutch, for whom De Jong is an integral part and has 44 senior caps, remain unbeaten since Louis van Gaal returned for a third term in charge of the national team as Frank de Boer’s successor last summer.