Barcelona president Joan Laporta has made it clear at least publicly that he wants to keep Frenkie de Jong at Barcelona, despite heavy interest from Manchester United.
United are tracking the Dutch international with new manager Erik ten Hag keen to work the midfielder again after they enjoyed a successful spell together at Ajax.
Ten Hag is expected to make some big changes to the team ahead of the new season but the Red Devils have yet to make any new signings this summer, although an official announcement is expected next week as Tyrell Malacia joins from Feyenoord.
It is understood that United are confident of agreeing a deal for De Jong, but Laporta is determined to keep the 25-year-old, despite the pressure to sell him.
🇳🇱@JoanLaportaFCB sobre Frenkie De Jong:
“Hay clubes que lo quieren, no sólo el United”
“No tenemos intención de venderlo”
— Víctor Navarro (@victor_nahe) July 2, 2022
“I am going to do what’s in my power to keep Frenkie, but it’s a salary issue, and that has to adjusted,” Laporta told reporters, as quoted by Mundo Deportivo.
“He is a Barca player, one of the best in the world in his position.
“We know there are clubs who want him, not just United, but we have no intention of selling.
“He want to stay, he’s a comfortable in Barcelona, and I will do everything I can to make him stay.”
Barça president Laporta on de Jong: “There are many clubs that want him, not just Man United. We have no intention of selling him, he wants to stay”. 🚨 #FCB
— Fabrizio Romano (@FabrizioRomano) July 2, 2022
There has been a meltdown online following Laporta’s comments, but didn’t he say Barcelona would keep Lionel Messi last year? These guys say a lot of things they don’t mean publicly, and everybody knows how Barcelona like to control the narrative. They often say one thing to the club and something completely different to the media.
I’m not saying his comments won’t come as a blow to United’s confidence over securing a deal for De Jong, but actions speak louder than words.
Laporta’s comments also suggest that he would like De Jong to sign a smaller contract when his current deal ends in 2026.
Is that how you treat one of the best midfielders in the world?