Barcelona president Joan Laporta has revealed his club’s stance on selling midfielder Frenkie de Jong as talks with Manchester United continue.
The Red Devils have been looking to get De Jong’s signing over the line for more than a week now. And according to a recent report from Spanish outlet Marca, Barcelona are happy to let him go.
They claim De Jong is being driven out of the Nou Camp due to ‘economic issues’. This includes the bonuses he has in his Barca contract and his weekly wage, which is more than Laporta wants in place.
Manchester United are willing to pay an initial £55.6million for the Dutchman and are in discussions with Barca over £17.1m in add-ons, too.
At this price, a sale would make sense for Laporta. It would improve his team’s poor financial situation and boost their chances of landing Robert Lewandowski, or any other transfer targets they have in mind.
United are desperate to snare De Jong to appease new manager Erik ten Hag. The pair have a good relationship following their time at Ajax and Ten Hag knows he can get the best out of the star.
But amid all the pressure, Barca are seemingly holding firm. While the Spanish outfit unveiled new signing Franck Kessie, Laporta was asked about De Jong’s future.
He said (via Fabrizio Romano): “Frenkie de Jong is a Barcelona player – we don’t want to sell him unless we have no other choice.
Laporta hopes to keep Frenkie de Jong in Spain
“Of course we know there are offers for De Jong. But we don’t want to sell him.”
Laporta’s comments suggest Barca will play hardball over the next few days when it comes to the United negotiations.
As a result, United may find it tough to land the 25-year-old without overpaying – if they haven’t already.
Why do Manchester United want Frenkie de Jong?
Why do Manchester United want Frenkie de Jong when the player seemingly doesn't want a move to Old Trafford?
De Jong is facing a hard decision about where to play next season. He loves Barca and would obviously like to continue in Catalonia.
But reuniting with Ten Hag is an attractive proposition and it could see him swap La Liga for the Premier League, if Barca allow.
Meanwhile, Wednesday’s Euro Paper Talk has the latest on Paulo Dybala’s links with United.