Barcelona have no intention of selling Frenkie de Jong, says Joan Laporta

Manchester United have certainly had better Saturdays but the Red Devils received two huge setbacks yesterday.

With a return to pre-season drawing ever nearer, The Times reported that Cristiano Ronaldo would like to leave Manchester United this summer if the club received a suitable offer from a Champions League club.

The 37-year-old has won the Champions League five times and is the competition’s all-time top scorer and appearance maker.

Following United’s awful campaign which saw us finish sixth, Ronaldo is facing the possibility of missing out on Champions League football for the first time in 20 years, which came during his time with boyhood club Sporting Lisbon who were instead in the UEFA Cup.

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A year in next season’s Europa League would mean the five-time Ballon d’Or would miss out on the chance of extending his records in the competition and allow his great rival Lionel Messi the chance to close the gap on the Portuguese legend.

But if that hammer blow wasn’t enough to take the wind out of the United fans sails, only a few hours later came a major development in the race to sign Frenkie de Jong.

Barcelona have no intention of selling Frenkie de Jong

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Barcelona president Joan Laporta has insisted that the Catalan giants have ‘no intention’ of selling midfielder Frenkie de Jong this summer.

Given Barca’s need to sell players in order to fund Xavi’s rebuild at the Nou Camp and De Jong’s value, Manchester United have been in talks with the La Liga side regarding a move for the Netherlands international.

Erik ten Hag is keen to reunite with De Jong following their successful time at Ajax together, which brought a league and cup double, as well as a run to the Champions League semi-finals, before Barcelona paid £65m to sign the midfield technician.

However, in what has already proven to be a long-running transfer saga, Laporta has publicly stated that he wants to keep the 25-year-old.

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Speaking via the Athletic, Laporta said: “There are clubs that want him, not just United. We have no intention of selling him, he wants to stay.

“Frenkie is considered one of the best midfielders in the world by all experts. We are happy to have him.

“I’m going to do everything I can in my power so that Frenkie stays here, but there’s also a salary issue and that would have to be adjusted.”

Photo by David S. Bustamante/Soccrates/Getty Images

It was hoped that a deal to bring the 43-time Netherlands international to Old Trafford was heading in the right direction but Laporta’s latest comments present yet another spanner in the works.

It could be a classic case of mind games from the Barcelona president who knows full well the financial peril his club are in.

But with Chelsea reportedly monitoring how things develop in the race to sign De Jong, Laporta may be hoping for a bidding war to break.

However, given Ronaldo’s desire to leave the club, which may force the club to pursue potential replacements and the Frenkie de Jong saga showing no signs of reaching an immediate resolution, Manchester United fans will be licking their wounds after a difficult 24 hours.

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Passionate Football fan that completed a NCTJ-accredited Diploma in Multimedia Sports Journalism in 2016.