Joan Laporta

Barcelona president Joan Laporta has claimed that the club will do their “best” to keep Manchester United target, Frenkie de Jong, at Camp Nou. Laporta, however, hinted that their stance could change if the player did not agree to take a pay cut.

Manchester United boss Erik ten Hag reportedly (via The United Stand) wants to bring De Jong to Old Trafford. Having lost Juan Mata, Paul Pogba, and Nemanja Matic this summer, the Red Devils could do with more reinforcements in midfield (Christian Eriksen has already joined).

The player, however, is supposedly reluctant to move to Manchester United and would rather continue being a Barcelona player.

Barca president Joan Laporta claimed that the club also wanted to keep the former Ajax man, but emphasized the need for him to adhere to Barcelona’s new salary structure. He said (via Reshad Rahman):

“FDJ wants to stay and the club too. Another thing is the talks we have because there is a new salary structure. We find a high wage bill, hence we have to talk to players. We’ll do our best to keep him & I hope he will also do everything he can to stay.”
Since joining from Ajax in 2019, the 25-year-old has played 140 games for the Blaugrana across competitions, recording 13 goals and 17 assists. The Dutch international has thus far only won the Copa del Rey (2020-21) with the Catalan outfit.

Frenkie de Jong could have more joy at Manchester United than Barcelona next season
Red Devils boss Erik ten Hag is in search of a holding midfielder for his team (via Fabrizio Romano). De Jong, who thrives in that role, could be the perfect fit for him.

The midfielder is already familiar with Ten Hag’s system, thanks to their time together at Ajax, and could hit the ground running at Old Trafford.

At Barca, that particular role is occupied by Sergio Busquets. The Spaniard is on the wrong side of 30, but still has plenty of football left in him.

In pre-season fixtures, Xavi has curiously deployed De Jong as a center-back and believes he could offer the team “a lot” as a make-shift center-back when needed.

With the World Cup only a few months away, De Jong will want to play to his strengths and not experiment by taking on a new role.

To ensure he is in the best possible shape before the World Cup, De Jong could have to rethink his stance and give Manchester United another look.

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