Barcelona president Joan Laporta has discussed Frenkie de Jong’s future at the club amid growing speculation the midfielder will be forced to leave in the summer transfer window.
Reports in Spain have suggested Barcelona will have to sell De Jong this summer in order to free up space on the wage bill to register new signings such as Andreas Christensen and Franck Kessie.
It has even been reported that Barcelona are “seriously considering” leaving De Jong out of the team’s pre-season tour to the United States as a way of pressurizing the Dutchman into leaving.
Laporta was asked about the rumors at a news conference to unveil new signing Raphinha and denied suggestions his club have to sell the 25-year-old before the start of the new season.
“It is not true that the club is obliged to sell Frenkie de Jong,” he told reporters. “The tour is decided by Xavi, but in principle he will travel.”
Xavi is due to announce his traveling squad on Saturday, July 16. Barcelona will play friendles against Inter Miami, Juventus, Real Madrid, and the New York Red Bulls during their time in the US.
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Barcelona Talk Player Exits
Sporting director Mateu Alemany was also asked about De Jong and insisted Barcelona are counting on the Netherlands international for next season. However, Alemany did add that players will have to leave the club in the transfer window.
“Frenkie is a very important player for us and we count on him. It’s clear that the issue of Fair Play in Spain forces players to leave,” he said. “These will be decisions Xavi will have to make. Everything depends on him. The players that will travel to the States. You will know the situation of some of our players. They still have contracts with Barcelona. We are trying to find solutions with the agents, the players. If they stay here it will be to try and find another club.”
Xavi has already told several players they are not in his plans for next season. It is thought that players such as Riqui Puig, Samuel Umtiti, and Martin Braithwaite will be left out of the tour squad.
De Jong Talks Future With Locker Room
De Jong has publicly said on several occasions he wants to stay at Barcelona and has also had a similar message for his teammates in the locker room after returning for pre-season, according to Diario Sport. “It is impossible for me to leave,” he said. “How am I going to leave Barça?”
Manchester United have agreed a fee for De Jong but the midfielder “still needs to be convinced to move,” as reported by ESPN. Meanwhile, De Jong’s agent is said to be “trying to encourage Paris Saint-Germain and Chelsea to join the bidding.”
It’s still not clear where De Jong will be playing his football next season. Laporta has said before the club have no intention of selling the Dutchman, yet the rumors about an exit simply refuse to go away.