Frenkie de Jong opens up on Manchester United transfer saga last summer and opens up about his future at Barcelona amid continued interest from Old Trafford
Frenkie de Jong appears to have played down claims he could move to Manchester United this summer, with the midfielder suggesting his immediate future ‘remains at Barcelona’.
The 26-year-old has been high on Erik ten Hag’s shortlist of players for some time now, with Mail Sport reporting that United made a £70m bid for him last June and that an agreement was reached at nearly 90%.
Despite sending club representatives to Spain, United were unable to formalize a deal, with De Jong admitting he wanted to stay in the LaLiga squad.
But that hasn’t stopped United from once again declaring their interest in the Barca midfielder, with De Jong also reportedly telling Ten Hag he wants to join the club.
But in a blow to United, it looks like he’s made another U-turn on his previous feelings, admitting he ‘feels good at Barcelona’.
Frenki de Jong says he ‘assumes’ he’ll ‘stay at Barcelona next season’ amid Man United interest
The Dutch midfielder has been a target of Erik ten Hag (pictured) for some time after United tried to sign him last summer
“It was clear to me, also last summer, when things were choppy for a while,” he said when asked by Voetbal International on whether he would stay at the LaLiga champions beyond this summer.
“I always knew I wanted to stay at Barcelona,” he added. “That’s why it wasn’t so stressful for me last summer.
‘Also, I had just signed a contract extension [in 2020] so I always felt like I was in control and able to decide for myself.
‘That’s why I didn’t bother [worrying about it]. I feel good at Barcelona and I guess I will still play here next season.
De Jong has played a pivotal role in Barcelona’s title-winning campaign, making 33 appearances in La Liga this term, scoring twice.
Having joined the club in 2019, De Jong’s contract is set to expire in 2026, with the midfielder now expected to step in to fill the role left by Sergio Busquets’ departure.
“It will be different next season when Busquets is gone,” he said of the outgoing club legend. “He played for Barcelona for 15 years, you will notice when such a great player leaves.
It now looks like De Jong (right) will stay with the La Liga champions, with the midfielder having already established himself as a vital cog in Xavi’s (middle) starting XI.
The club may also need him to take on some of the role left by outgoing midfielder Sergio Busquets (pictured)
And after much speculation last season, De Jong interestingly admitted that ‘he knew he always wanted to stay at Barcelona’ amid Man United transfer rumours.
“I really enjoyed playing with him, especially when we were next to each other. We complemented each other very well and I learned a lot from him even though we are different types of players.
But questions remain over his future at the club with reports last month suggesting Barcelona could ask the midfielder to take a pay cut amid the club’s financial troubles.
Man United, meanwhile, are reportedly set to announce their new owners, with Sheikh Jassim bin Hamad al-Thani staring into the driver’s seat to be announced as the club’s new owner.
The takeover could have serious implications for how much Ten Hag can spend this summer with United on the hunt for moves for Atalanta striker Rasmus Hojlund and Brentford’s David Raya.