Back in 2018, Dutch superstar Frenkie de Jong’s family including his girlfriend flew to Manchester to assess several properties in preparation for the midfielder complete a move to the Etihad, according to a recent report from Jack Gaughan at the Mail.

The then 21-year-old was proving to be the next big thing at Ajax, making nearly 90 appearances for the first team during his three-year spell, earning a Eredvisie player of the season award in the meantime.

Swiftly heading towards the peak of his development however, Barcelona swooped in with a £65 million offer – something Manchester City simply were not willing to match at the time.

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Admired for his playmaking abilities, De Jong usually plays as a deep-lying midfielder - aiming to push the ball forward and put attackers into space. The 23-year-old has made 21 appearances for the Dutch national team over the last three seasons, earning a runners up medal in the Nations League last year.

Perhaps the collapse in negotiations to sign the young midfielder has paid off however, with Pep Guardiola seeing Rodri as the best option for Manchester City in that role. Pep admires the ability the Portuguese player has at receiving the ball facing his own goal – with the ability to move it on quickly. This is a key style of play we have seen City grow accustomed too under Guardiola.

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