Manchester City will rival neighbours Manchester United and make a fresh attempt to sign Ajax’s midfield sensation Frenkie de Jong in January, Simon Mullock of the Sunday Mirror reports.
According to the story, City are understood to have had a £50 million bid rejected for the 21-year-old during the summer transfer window, but with Pep Guardiola in need of a new holding midfielder after missing out on Jorginho to Chelsea, the Premier League champions are poised to make a renewed effort in the winter market.
The Dutch international is considered one of the best emerging midfielders in Europe and is also attracting interest from Manchester United – who City could find themselves in another transfer tug-of-war with – while French giants Paris Saint-Germain are also known to be keen.
Ajax are adamant that they will not sell De Jong in January, but if City or another club such as Manchester United make a bid considered too good to reject, a transfer can’t be ruled out. Only an offer well in excess for £50 million would likely make Ajax think twice.
De Jong is not the only midfield name on Pep’s list however, with the Sunday Mirror reporting that Guardiola protégé Thiago Alcântara of Bayern Munich and recently linked PSG contract rebel Adrien Rabiot, briefly of the City academy in his youth, alternatives.
All three players would be eligible for the next phase of the Champions League should City advance, following new rules introduced by UEFA this year.