Frenkie de Jong appears to have knocked down reports that he could join Manchester United this summer, claiming that his immediate future remains with Barcelona’.
The 26-year-old has been on Erik Ten Hag’s wishlist of players for some time, with Mail Sport stating last June that United made a £70 million approach for him and that a deal was virtually 90% complete.
Despite sending club representatives to Spain, United was unable to reach an agreement, with De Jong admitting that he preferred to remain at the La Liga club.
However, United have renewed their interest in the Barcelona midfielder, with De Jong apparently telling Ten Hag that he wants to join the club.
However, in a blow to United, it appears that he has reversed his former opinions, stating that he ‘feels fine at Barcelona’.
‘That has been clear to me, also last summer when things were restless for a while,’ he said when asked by Voetbal International if he would be staying at the LaLiga champions beyond this summer.
‘I always knew that 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 that 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 assume that I will still be playing here next season.’
De Jong was instrumental in Barcelona’s title-winning season, appearing in 33 La Liga games and scoring twice.
De Jong’s contract with the club is slated to expire in 2026, with the midfielder now expected to step up to fill the void left by Sergio Busquets’ departure.
‘It will be different next season when Busquets is gone,’ he said of the departing club legend. ‘He played for Barcelona for 15 years, you will notice that when such a great player leaves.
‘I really enjoyed playing with him, especially when we were next to each other. We complemented each other really well and I learned a lot from him even though we are different types of players.’
However, his future at the club remains uncertain, with rumors last month claiming that Barcelona may ask the midfielder to take a pay reduction due to the club’s financial difficulties.
Meanwhile, Manchester United are apparently on the verge of announcing their new owners, with Sheikh Jassim bin Hamad al-Thani aiming to be the club’s new owner.
The takeover could have a significant impact on how much Ten Hag can spend this summer, with United interested in Atalanta attacker Rasmus Hojlund and Brentford’s David Raya.