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Transfer News: Man United earmark 21-year-old Bundesliga ace as de Jong alternative

Manchester United identify Borussia Monchengladbach star Manu Kone as an alternative for Barcelona ace Frenkie de Jong

According to L’Equipe (h/t Mirror), Manchester United are one among several clubs that have taken an interest in Borussia Monchengladbach star Manu Kone this summer, identifying the midfielder as an alternative to Barcelona’s Frenkie de Jong.

New United manager Erik ten Hag is keen to reunite with de Jong ahead of the new season, with the pair enjoying a successful period with Ajax Amsterdam in the past. While the Holland international moved to Barca in 2019, his manager was appointed as the new Red Devils boss this summer.

However, de Jong is yet to make a decision on his future. As a result, ten Hag has been forced to look for alternatives ahead of the upcoming transfer window, assessing options from his predecessor Ralf Rangnick

‘s transfer shortlist.
Manu Kone has made a big impact for Borussia Mönchengladbach since his move to Germany last summer. (Photo by Lukas Schulze/Getty Images)

Kone is one of the names on the list that Rangnick had identified as a potential transfer target, with the ex-interim manager believing that the player could make a big impact at Old Trafford. The Manchester side are in need of midfield reinforcements, with several departures expected in the summer.

Big impact in the Bundesliga

However, it will not be easy to snap up the Frenchman in the coming weeks as Atletico Madrid and Juventus are among the clubs that have expressed an interest in signing Kone. The midfielder has made a big impact in the Bundesliga in his debut season, only joining from Toulouse last summer.

The 21-year-old has netted twice in 27 appearances for Monchengladbach, helping the club to a tenth place finish in the league. It is said that Rangnick had identified Kone’s potential before his move to Germany when he was still a rising star at Toulouse.

Manchester United have identified Manu Kone as a transfer alternative for Barcelona midfielder Frenkie de Jong. (Photo by Francesco Pecoraro/Getty Images)

Despite being offered the chance to reunite with ten Hag once again after their glory days at Ajax, de Jong is still mulling over his future in Spain. The 25-year-old is a regular for the Catalan side, although he has not made the same impact at the Nou Camp as he did while playing for his previous club.

With the transfer window opening in the coming weeks, a decision needs to be made regarding his future in La Liga. The more time he takes regarding his choices going forward, perhaps the more inclined ten Hag will be to chase after Kone.

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Rangnick clearly rated the Frenchman highly, and although he could not sign the player during his tenure as interim manager, perhaps his successor might. The midfielder may not boast of the same reputation and fame as de Jong, but he has impressed in a new league and new team at a young age.

Kone’s displays for Monchengladbach have caught the attention of other foreign clubs as well, so United will need to step up their efforts in order to land him ahead of the new season. Only time will tell if the Red Devils end up with Kone or de Jong – or in the worst case, neither of them.

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