Real Madrid have joined the race for Frenkie De Jong and want to do a deal in January. Los Blancos intend to start conversations with Ajax soon with the aim of convincing them to sell one of their stars mid-season. Madrid don't want to wait until the summer, like the Dutch club's sporting director Marc Overmars, because they're in a rush to sign him for the second half of the season.
Madrid have turned their attention to De Jong because they feel he's the midfielder with the most potential currently on the European market. They see him as the ideal replacement for Luka Modric, who at 33 is in the final stages of his career. The Croatian needs an heir and Madrid believe De Jong is the best option.
The European champions are aware that Barcelona (whose interest has diluted in recent weeks) and Manchester City (Txiki Begiristain has met with Ajax and the player) are also interested. That's why they don't want to waste any time and want to push through a deal in January. President Florentino Perez has not made any big investments this season (just Courtois) and has room to go all out for the Dutch international.