Frenkie de Jong started for Barcelona in their pre-season friendly win over New York Red Bulls.
It was the final match of their pre-season tour in the United States, so we could eventually see some movement in the case of De Jong over the coming days as Barcelona look to get their business done before the new La Liga season.
De Jong returned to midfield last night after being thrown into centre-back in previous matches on tour, even as a substitute following the arrival of Franck Kessie.
The 25-year-old played 45 minutes and Xavi was asked about his future after the match.
“I don’t know if he’s going to stay, there’s still time and a lot of things can still happen,” Xavi said via Sport. “At the moment he’s part of the team, like everyone else.”
On top of that, Xavi denied that playing De Jong at centre-back was an attempt to pressure the player to leave Camp Nou.
“The fact that he played as a central defender in the other games is not a sign that he was leaving,” he added.
“I don’t need to send signals on the pitch, I can speak directly with my footballers.”
These comments are significant because it sounds like Xavi is warming to the idea of being without De Jong next season.
I mean, how many midfielders does he want?
Reports claim United already have an agreement in place with Barcelona, but the La Liga club still owe De Jong €17 million in deferred wages since the coronavirus pandemic.
Barca have been pressurising the Netherlands international to leave and that has been clear all summer, despite what club president Joan Laporta has to say about the matter.
Hopefully, we are nearing a conclusion on this one because the saga has dragged on for too long.