Ajax XI on Frenkie de Jong's first senior start - where are they now
Manchester United are moving closer to striking an agreement with Barcelona for Netherlands midfielder Frenkie de Jong.
New boss Erik ten Hag earmarked his former Ajax midfielder as the main target for this summer’s transfer window and while negotiations continue – it is believed that a fee between the two clubs is close to being reached.
Barcelona have agreed to accept an initial fee of roughly €65 million (£56.2 million) plus several performance-related bonuses, according to the Times.
Transfer expert Fabrizio Romano has claimed that its the structure of the add-ons which is currently being ironed out between the two powerhouses of European football.
With add-ons, the total cost to bring the ball-playing midfielder to Old Trafford could reach £73million.
Once both parties are happy with the deal, United will then discuss personal terms with the 25-year-old who won the Eredivisie and reached the Champions League semi-finals under Ten Hag before moving to Barcelona in a £65m deal.
Although bringing De Jong to the Theatre of Dreams has been the focus of the transfer window, his countryman Tyrell Malacia looks set to become the first signing of the Ten Hag era.
Having looked set to join Ligue 1 side Lyon, who are managed by former Ajax manager Peter Bosz, the 22-year-old Feyenoord left-back is now closing in on a £14.7m move to the Red Devils.
With a move to France looking nailed on, United have hijacked the deal and with Les Gones’ pulling out of the race to sign Malacia who came through the Feyenoord academy, the five-time Netherlands international is itching closer to becoming the fourth Feyenoord player to play for Manchester United.
Bosz, who was in charge of the Ajax side that lost to United in the 2017 Europa League final, handed De Jong his first senior start during his time with the Amsterdam giants.
In the KNVB Beker last-16 cup clash against SC Cambuur in December 2016, Ajax suffered a shock 2-1 defeat on De Jong’s first start at senior level.
United in Focus takes a look back at the side that played in Frenkie de Jong’s first senior start and what they have go onto achieve in their respective careers.
Ajax XI on Frenkie de Jong’s first senior start
Goalkeeper Diderik Boer made 11 appearances for the Ajax first team before returning to his former club PEC Zwolle who across two stints played over 300 times for before retiring in 2019.
Kenny Tete has just secured promotion to the Premier League with Marco Silva’s Fulham and the 14-time Netherlands international who made 55 appearances for Ajax has been at Craven Cottage for five years since arriving from Lyon.
Matthijs de Ligt, who has been heavily linked with a big-money move to Chelsea, became Ajax’s youngster captain and was a key part of Ten Hag’s side before being signed by Juventus for £67.5m in 2019.
After four years with Ajax – Nick Viergever joined fierce rivals PSV Eindhoven in 2018. The three-time Netherlands international is currently playing in Germany for Greuther Furth.
Mitchell Dijks is currently playing for Serie A outfit Bologna where he has plied his trade for the last four seasons. The former Norwich loanee played 80 times for Ajax.
Playing in midfield alongside De Jong in midfield back in December 2016 was £35m Manchester United man Donny van de Beek, who will be hoping that the arrivals of familiar faces De Jong and Ten Hag prove the catalyst in igniting his stuttering Manchester United career.
Alongside Van de Beek and De Jong was the talented Abdelhak Nouri who was one of the most exciting prospects to emerge from the famous Ajax academy.
However, Nouri’s playing career was ended prematurely after he suffered a cardiac arrest in a pre-season match against Werder Bremen in Austria in 2017.
Pelle Clement occupied the right-wing role and after a two-year spell with Championship side Reading, the midfielder is currently playing for PEC Zwolle.
On the left was Czech Republic international Vaclav Cerny who played 29 times for the Ajax first team. The winger is currently playing for FC Twente.
Leading the line was Colombian Mateo Cassierra who is currently contracted to Russian Premier League side Sochi and the striker scored 14 goals from 26 league games.