Liverpool hoping to leave Man Utd red-faced with swoop for long-time Old Trafford target – report

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Just as they did with Cody Gakpo a few months ago, Liverpool are reportedly hoping to again gazump Manchester United by swooping for a player who’s been heavily linked with a move to Old Trafford.

At the tail end of 2022, the Reds agreed the signing of the 23-year-old (BBC Sport), a notable coup given that their rivals down the M62 had been heavily linked with the Dutchman (The Mirror).

It seems the Merseyside club are now planning to steal in for another long-time Red Devils target from Netherlands.

Fichajes reported on Sunday that Liverpool are interested in a summer swoop for Frenkie de Jong, who’s one of Jurgen Klopp’s ‘main interests’ for next season, and the manager at Anfield ‘will not hesitate to press’ for the Barcelona midfielder.

The 25-year-old has long been linked with United, having been Erik ten Hag’s primary target in last summer’s transfer window (Manchester Evening News), only to remain at Camp Nou.

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Having already beaten the Red Devils to the punch for Gakpo, how sweet would it be for Liverpool to repeat the trick by signing the attacker’s international teammate.

De Jong has shown an aptitude for driving his team forward with his range of passing and his ability to take on opponents.

As per FBref, he ranks among the top 9% of midfielders in Europe’s five main leagues over the past year for progressive passes per game (7.91) and the top 13% for successful take-ons per 90 (1.37).

However, there are a couple of potentially significant caveats to a move for the 25-year-old, namely his scoring return and injury record.

He’s managed just 20 goals in more than 250 games for Barcelona and Ajax combined, while his time at Camp Nou has been dotted with a series of minor knocks (Transfermarkt).

FSG will need to think carefully about whether De Jong would be worth purchasing, particularly when Liverpool are heavily pursuing several other midfielders, but one major plus to signing him would be the opportunity to leave United red-faced once again in the transfer market.

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