Netherlands manager Louis van Gaal has hailed the ‘incredible’ Frenkie de Jong after the target turned in a sublime performance in the Nations League win over Belgium.
De Jong turned in a masterful midfield display as Netherlands eased to a 4-1 win over their neighbours with Steven Bergwijn and Denzel Dumfries on the score sheet with bagging a brace.
Van Gaal, who spent two seasons in charge of United between 2014 and 2016, heaped praise on the midfielder after the win.
‘It is always a victory for the collective, but there are people who can excel in the collective which is of course great,’ van Gaal told NOS.
‘There are always stars in certain matches, but in this one, Frenkie de Jong and Steven Bergwijn, that was incredible how those two played.’
New United boss Erik ten Hag has identified de Jong as his priority transfer target this summer with talks between the player and club thought to be underway.
While Barcelona are open to a deal with the club in desperate need to cash in and alleviate some of their financial woes, de Jong is reluctant to leave the Camp Nou.
‘I recently spoke extensively with the trainer [Xavi]. That was a very good conversation,’ de Jong said this week.
‘I will not go into that [the links to United]. Not even about other names or clubs.
‘I used to be naive and open-minded about it. I don’t do that anymore.
‘I understand that that link is made. That sum is not that difficult, it is logical.
‘I have enjoyed working with Ten Hag at Ajax – and I can’t look into the future, of course. But I prefer to stay at Barcelona.
‘That has always been my dream club and it still is. As long as I don’t hear from the club management, I assume nothing is going on.’
, ., and .