Barcelona president Joan Laporta has reiterated that Manchester United target Frenkie De Jong is not for sale.
Sky Sports News was told last week that the clubs had a “broad agreement” on the fee – estimated at €65m (£56m) plus performance-related surcharges.
However, Laporta remains clear in his public message regarding the Dutch international’s future.
Laporte said:[Frenkie De Jong] is a Barça player. And unless we feel the need or the interest to sell it, we won’t. Frenkie de Jong is not for sale. We know he has offers. And if at some point we have an interest in selling it then we would think about it.
“But for now we won’t sell him. More so, we are buying another Franck. Franck Kessie.”
De Jong made 46 appearances for Barcelona last season and has four years left on his current deal at Camp Nou.
The Dutchman played under new United boss Erik ten Hag at Ajax and was part of the squad that achieved the Eredivisie and KNVB Cup double in the 2018/19 campaign, as well as the semi-finals. Champions League finals.
Reports earlier this month suggested signing the 25-year-old was Ten Hag’s priority in this summer’s transfer window, although progress on the deal has been slow.
His potential arrival at Old Trafford comes at just the right time, with Juan Mata, Nemanja Matic and Paul Pogba having already left this summer, leaving the club out of options in the middle of the park.
How De Jong can help Ten Hag bring the Ajax approach to Man Utd
If Man Utd are to play the ‘dominant and dictating’ football that Erik ten Hag wants, their midfield needs an upgrade. Frenkie de Jong could be a solution, writes Sky Sports’ Peter Smith.
The sleek midfielder does his best from deep, overcoming challenges or passing through the lines to get his team up the pitch.
He rarely gives the ball away. He had a 91% success rate in La Liga last season and, in addition to that metric, also eclipsed McTominay and Fred in stats measuring dribbling success, quality of touch and how often they are stripped.
De Jong might not be the only answer to United’s problems, but he would bring an upgrade to their central midfield department and unlock a way to play Ten Hag’s desires.
View from Spain: Barcelona can still absorb De Jong defeat
Spanish football expert Alvaro Montero told Sky Sports:
“I think he will eventually join United, but the main problem is the player. De Jong wants to stay at Barcelona but the club sees the possibility of selling him with fresh eyes.
“They recognize it will bring in a lot of money, and looking at the team, he’s someone who can possibly attract one of the biggest fees in the market today.
“De Jong is an amazing player but if Barcelona sell him it would be a good deal. His value means they get the positive out of a bad situation. If they were to sell Ansu Fati, no one in the club nor the fans would would understand it.
“Ansu Fati is the future and they don’t have a replacement. But the fans understand to sell De Jong because they have Gavi, Pedri and Busquets. Was Marc-Andre ter Stegen in goal or Gerard Pique or Ronald Araujo for sale, it would be very different because they don’t have the same depth in those areas.”
What should Manchester United do this summer?
Sky Sports’ Jack Wilkinson:
” Where to start ?
“Returning Manchester United to the heights of yesteryear is too big a task to accomplish in a single season, but the fan base is well within their rights to demand progress towards that ultimate goal.
“The opportunities for newly appointed director Erik ten Hag and CEO Richard Arnold to deliver just that are endless.
“United can hardly be blamed for failing to invest on the pitch having weighed in over £1bn on transfers over the last decade, but United rank among the worst in Europe in terms of value for every pound spent.
“In their first season together, Ten Hag and Arnold must seize the opportunity to devise a new transfer strategy, execute it successfully and take the first steps towards re-establishing the famous partnership that underpinned Sir’s fate. Alex Ferguson and David Gill together.
“On the pitch, fans yearn for a group of players they can relate to, a group of players they can invest in emotionally, regardless of the results.
“Players brought to the club must understand the privilege of donning a Manchester United shirt and, above all, the ability to transfer it into performance on the pitch, while those already at the club must be given an ultimatum to demonstrate their understanding.
“Achieve that, and United should be able to prevent the crippling feeling of apathy from further invading Old Trafford, and the club will have taken their first step back to the pinnacle of English and European football.”
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