Barcelona coach Xavi Hernandez has made it clear he wants to keep Frenkie de Jong at the Camp Nou for a long time despite continued speculation about the Dutchman’s future.
Xavi was asked if he had spoken to De Jong about rumors Manchester United are keen on the Dutchman at a pre-match press conference ahead of his team’s La Liga clash against Rayo Vallecano on Sunday, April 24.
“We haven’t spoken about this. He’s an important player for the club, a player who needs to mark an era. He’s at a great level right now since I arrived and he needs to continue like this, keep scoring, keep assisting,” he said. “He’s a very important player for me and could be one of the best midfielders in the world. If it was up to me he’d be here for many years.”
Manchester United want to bring De Jong to Old Trafford in the summer when Erik ten Hag takes over as first-team manager, as reported by Diario Sport. Ten Hag worked with De Jong at Ajax and knows the midfielder well.
The Red Devils have “250 million euros to boost the squad” and such a transfer fee would “help balance the books” at Barcelona. However, De Jong is happy at the Camp Nou and does not want to leave.
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Frenkie de Jong Talks Barcelona Future
De Jong has previously been asked about his future and whether he would be interested in leaving the Camp Nou. There has also been speculation Bayern Munich like the midfielder, but the Dutchman told Ziggo Sport he wants to stay at Barca for a long time, as reported by Goal.
“I love being at Barcelona. I’d probably sign a six-year contract extension if they’d propose me, yes,” he explained. “Something happening with FC Bayern? No, no. I am so happy at Barcelona and I would love to play here for as long as possible.”
De Jong’s contract at Barcelona runs until 2026 and contains a buyout clause set at 400 million euros. The midfielder is a regular at the club and has made 39 appearances in all competitions this season, scoring four goals and contributing five assists.
Xavi Talks Barcelona ‘Super Signing’
Xavi also talked about new signing Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang ahead of Sunday’s fixture against Rayo. The Gabon international scored the winner last time out against Real Sociedad to take his tally to 11 goals in 17 games for Barca since joining in Januay.
The Barcelona boss made it clear just how happy he has been with the striker since he arrived from Premier League side Arsenal on a free transfer.
“In the case of Auba, he works hard, attacks the spaces, he’s a great signing, a super signing I would even say,” he said. “He’s helping the team a lot, works hard, makes sacrifices for the team. I’m very happy for him and for the team.”
Aubameyang and De Jong will both be expected to start against Rayo on Sunday as Barca aim to consolidate second place in the table. A victory at the Camp Nou would see Xavi’s side move three points clear of Sevilla in third place.
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