‘No Exit Plan’ – Barcelona Chief Rules Out Selling €80m Man

Xavi

Getty Xavi wants to keep Franck Kessie.

Barcelona sporting director Jordi Cruyff has insisted the club have no plans to sell midfielder Frenkie de Jong following a summer of speculation about the Dutchman’s future at the Camp Nou.

“In principle, there is no exit plan,” Cruyff told TV3 when asked about De Jong’s future. The midfielder made it clear he did not want to leave in the summer but continues to be linked with a move to Manchester United in a deal worth 80 million.

Cruyff also spoke about the possibility of Barcelona signing new players in the January transfer window and admitted it may be very difficult due to La Liga’s salary cap.

“The laws are what they are for everyone and, therefore, if we cannot sign, we have to continue, but if something can be done suddenly, we are clear about what we want to do,” he said.

Barcelona’s top targets appear to be a midfielder to replace Sergio Busquets and a right-back. The Catalans have been linked with moves for Wolves midfielder Ruben Neves and former La Masia full-back Arnau Martinez.

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Will Busquets Stay at Barcelona?

Barcelona could always opt not to bring in a replacement for Busquets and use De Jong in the captain’s position instead. Cruyff spoke about Busquets’s future and admits a decision will need to be made soon.

“When he returns from the World Cup we will have answers [from Busquets], because the club has to plan for the future, but he deserves the respect of being able to decide how and when,” he said.

Busquets is out of contract at the end of the season and could opt to call time on his stunning Barcelona career. There has been speculation that the midfielder could head to MLS side Inter Miami in time for next season.


Cruyff Confirms New Contracts

Cruyff also confirmed that Barcelona are working to extend the contracts of talented youngsters Alejandro Balde and Inaki Pena. Barca are keen to keep both youngsters at the club.

“We are working to close the agreements with Alejandro Balde and Iñaki Peña so that they are first-team players,” explained.

Balde is in the midst of a stunning breakout season. He has featured regularly for Xavi’s side this season playing at right-back and on the opposite flank when required. His performances have also seen him called up to the Spain squad for World Cup 2022.

Pena has come through the club’s academy too and is currently Barcelona’s back-up goalkeeper. Marc-Andre ter Stegen remains first choice but Pena will be hoping for some first-team oppportunities this season.

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