‘We have NO intention of selling him’: Barcelona president Joan Laporta says the club do not have plans to sell Frenkie de Jong this summer with Manchester United locked in negotiations for his signature
- Frenkie de Jong has been identified as Manchester United’s primary target
- It had been widely reported that he could be sold to raise funds for Barcelona
- President Joan Laporta has been bullish talking up the club’s transfer plans
- Claim comes amid the two clubs having been locked in negotiations for him
Barcelona president Joan Laporta has claimed that the Catalan club have ‘no intention’ of selling Frenkie de Jong this summer.
The Dutch central midfielder is Manchester United’s primary target this summer as Erik ten Hag looks to sign the player he was so influential in nurturing during his time at Ajax.
It was reported last week that the two clubs had reached a breakthrough in negotiations over De Jong moving to Manchester United, but Laporta appears to have rowed back on those developments by saying the club would like to hold onto him this summer.
Manchester United could face competition for Barcelona midfielder Frenkie de Jong
Speaking publicly over one of the highest profile sagas of this summer window, Laporta said there were various clubs who wanted him but that Barcelona would ideally hold onto the player they signed in 2019.
He said: ‘There are clubs that want him, not just United. We have no intention of selling him, he wants to stay.
‘Frenkie is considered as one of the best midfielders in the world by all the experts. We are happy to have him.’
Erik ten Hag played a key role in nurturing Frenkie de Jong during their time together at Ajax
Barcelona’s financial plight means the club has to offload players this summer in order to bring players in and then register them in time for the season.
They are currently unable to register Andreas Christensen and Franck Kessie, signed on free transfers from Chelsea and AC Milan respectively, owing to a need for them to lower their wage bill. They are hamstrung by La Liga’s one in four rule, meaning for every one million they spend they must save four million.
Laporta’s comments were qualified by an admission that it would not be easy to keep De Jong owing to the dire financial straits the club finds itself in.
‘I’m going to do everything I can in my power so that Frenkie stays here, but there’s also a salary issue and that would have to be adjusted,’ he said.
Joan Laporta said that the club wished to hold onto Frenkie de Jong – a player, he said, the ‘experts’ consider one of the best in the world
Frenkie de Jong last month called Barcelona the ‘biggest club in the world’ amid talks of a move away
Were De Jong to stay at Barcelona, the option he has publicly declared as his preference, it would represent a real blow to Ten Hag and Manchester United with the club having seemingly put a lot of eggs in the proverbial De Jong basket.
Chief executive Richard Arnold’s leaked meeting with supporters at a Cheshire pub revealed that De Jong is top of the club’s priority list this summer with the midfielder having been identified as the perfect player to kickstart the Ten Hag-led revolution.
De Jong last month declared Barcelona the ‘biggest club’ in the world when asked about a potential move elsewhere.
‘You are always flattered when teams show interest in you as a player,’ he said.
‘But I think I am at the biggest club in the world at the moment, I feel fine there, so no news.’