Laporta tells two Barcelona players to leave and says Frenkie de Jong can stay
Manchester United have made very obvious this summer that Frenkie de Jong is the club’s number one transfer target.
Managing to get him away from Barcelona has so far proved impossible, with the midfielder determined to stay.
Despite claims from The Athletic that Manchester United have a fee agreed with Barcelona, there doesn’t appear to be any breakthrough imminent.
Barcelona president Joan Laporta has extended an olive branch to De Jong to publicly invite him to stay, and says he is confident he will.
Laporta says Frenkie de Jong can stay
Laporta was quoted by Mundo Deportivo and acknowledges that while the midfielder has opportunities to leave, he will not be pushed out.
He said: “He is a Barça player, of great quality and we want him to stay. With him and his teammates we have a very powerful midfield.
“He has offers but we want him to stay and he wants to stay.”
De Jong shone in Barcelona’s friendly win over Universidad Nacional on Sunday, coming on at half-time in a 6-0 win, scoring the last goal.
Amid the optimism for the season ahead at Barcelona, versus the concerns highlighted in Manchester United’s opening league game defeat, its understandable De Jong is not in a hurry to leave.
Laporta’s stance on De Jong is very different to his approach to two other players he is exhausted by. He has told Martin Braithwaite and Samuel Umtiti to find new clubs.
He said: “They have understood that the best thing is to go play for another team. Their contracts have always been respected, but the time has come when they have to take a step forward. This week they have to fix both of them.”
He added: “here are players who will have to leave and we are working on it. And there will be some more registrations. This week what we hope is to register the signed players.”
Unless Barcelona absolutely have to sell De Jong for financial reasons, they won’t. And it seems even then, the midfielder will dig in.
It was time for Manchester United to walk away a month ago. Now it really is time to quit the chase of the Dutchman and move on to other transfer targets.