Monday, January 30, 2023

Barcelona president Joan Laporta agrees with Xavi on letting Frenkie de Jong to join Man Utd

Barcelona president Joan Laporta agrees with Xavi on letting Frenkie de Jong to join Man Utd

Erik ten Hag’s interest in Frenkie de Jong may have given  Manchester United a glimmer of hope.

Neither Xavi nor Joan Laporta appear eager to let go of the Barcelona star in the coming transfer windows, but the door does not appear to be completely closed.

Ten Hag made De Jong his top target after taking over at Old Trafford, where they had previously worked together at Ajax.

Despite their previous partnership, the midfielder was adamant about staying at Camp Nou, where he allegedly dreamed of playing as a child.

However, the Red Devils pushed until the bitter end, with the financial aspects of a £73 million deal allegedly agreed.

In a messy, long-running saga that saw club president Laporta publicly call for the Dutchman to take a massive pay cut, the player himself refused to give his blessing.

De Jong continues to consume a sizable portion of La Blaugrana’s wage bill, with further talks on a new, reduced contract thought to be in the works.

United, however, is not without hope.

According to Sport, Laporta and Xavi agree that they don’t want to lose De Jong in an ideal world, but the situation may have to be revised if United re-enters the market at the end of the season.

To bolster their midfield, the Red Devils eventually turned to Casemiro, who joined from Real Madrid in a £70 million deal.

Ten Hag is still believed to be a fan of De Jong, implying that the saga is far from over.

The 25-year-old has appeared in seven of Barcelona’s eight league games this season, scoring once as Xavi’s side leads La Liga with an undefeated record.

Despite leading bitter rivals Real Madrid on goal difference, La Blaugrana have only conceded once in their first eight games.

When Ten Hag’s first two matches as manager were disastrous, it appeared that United were missing De Jong’s steadying presence, but he has since turned the team’s fortunes around.

A 6-3 derby defeat has been followed by back-to-back comeback victories, the first in the Europa League against Omonia Nicosia and the second away at Everton on Sunday evening.

“The first 35 minutes were good, impressive,” said Ten Hag after the final whistle. “Even then we had our sloppy moments, but we had a good formation on the ball, good passages of play and the chances we created were good in the first half.

“[Casemiro] is experienced. Even after a small mistake, he [remained] composed, he is doing the right things. He has a huge impact on the game by winning so many balls and always in good positions to receive balls, to link up, to pass around, and he was really important with the goal. A good ball in, a good pass to Cristiano [Ronaldo] and a good finish.”

Barcelona president Joan Laporta agrees with Xavi on letting Frenkie de Jong to join Man Utd

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