Netherlands manager Ronald Koeman has confirmed that Pep Guardiola is interested in Ajax pair Frenkie de Jong and Matthijs de Ligt after the two discussed the players.
De Jong has been widely reported as City’s top midfield target, but the Catalan press claims Barcelona are close to a deal for him – while Dutch newspaper De Telegraaf insists that Paris Saint-Germain are still favourites.
City’s position in the war for De Jong isn’t clear, but what is now certain is that Guardiola is ‘crazy’ about the 21-year-old and also a fan of his teammate De Ligt, one of Europe’s best emerging centre-backs.
Koeman, a former Barcelona player and close friend of Guardiola, revealed all in an interview with Dutch outlet Algemeen Dagblad.
“I spoke to Pep Guardiola about [Frenkie] De Jong and [Matthijs] De Ligt a while ago,” Koeman told AD. “He is totally wild about the type of midfielder that Frenkie is, he wanted to know everything about him.”
City have been searching for a Fernandinho successor with the Brazilian one-of-a-kind in his role at the club, something highlighted by declining performances in his absence lately with no one able to effectively fill the void.
De Jong is expected to decide where his future lies in the coming weeks, with Barcelona, PSG and City all presenting offers to him.