Manchester United have been dealt something of a transfer blow as Barcelona look in pole position to pull off two superb transfers in a double raid on Ajax for youngsters Matthijs de Ligt and Frenkie de Jong.
The Dutch duo have been superb at the Amsterdam Arena, recently becoming established in the senior Netherlands national side after becoming star performers for their club.
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Both have been linked with a host of top clubs in recent times, but the latest speculation suggests Barcelona are making good progress on winning the race for both their signatures.
First, one Don Balon piece claims talks have taken place to bring De Jong to Barca, though some obstacles remain as Ajax want around €70million for the 21-year-old.
AS recently linked the defensive midfielder with United, among others, and a move to Old Trafford certainly makes sense at this moment in time due to Jose Mourinho’s lack of options in the middle of the park.
Nemanja Matic and Fred have had poor seasons, failing to step up since Michael Carrick’s retirement in the summer, while Paul Pogba has also struggled and could do with a better partner to bring the best out of him.
Another Don Balon report states Barcelona are also working on signing De Ligt to strengthen their defence, though, like with De Jong, they are still a little way off agreeing on a free, falling short of his €68m price tag.
Defence is another area of major weakness for MUFC at the moment, with Don Balon recently claiming Mourinho had instructed United to move for De Ligt to fix that position.