Barcelona president Joan Laporta has given a fresh update on Manchester United transfer target Frenkie de Jong’s future.
This summer we have learned to take whatever Laporta says with a pinch of salt. As someone who has covered the story closely for the past nine weeks, I won’t be changing my stance on that.
United find themselves embroiled in long-runner transfer sagas with Barcelona players far too often for my liking – and, on top of that, we rarely end up signing the player.
A deal for De Jong has been agreed in principle between United and Barcelona, as per Manchester Evening News, yet Laporta claims he is still wanted at Camp Nou.
The Dutch midfielder has been dropped into a centre-back role for pre-season matches and they’ve already signed a new midfielder this summer in Franck Kessie. It remains to be seen if he will have a key role in Xavi’s midfield next term.
“Frenkie is a Barca player,” Laporta is quoted as saying by talkSPORT.
“We want him to stay, he wants to stay. We’ve received important bids for him but he’s our player.
“You know salary budget situation; so we will do our best to keep Frenkie at Barca. I hope he’ll do the same.”
Laporta doesn’t add that they have a deal in place with United, nor the fact Barca owe De Jong €17m in deferred wages.
This one is expected to drag on even longer.