The Dutch midfielder is digging heels in amid some intense pressure
It is no secret that Barcelona want to transfer Frenkie de Jong. Even though Xavi Hernandez will count on him if he stays, the club feel that the Dutch midfielder, who has not matched expectations in three years at Camp Nou, is an asset who can bring in good money.
Barça need to create room financially to strengthen the squad at the same time as they attempt to reduce the debt. As complicated as that is, president Joan Laporta and those around him must make some big decisions this summer.
Manchester United are, so far, the only team to have shown a real interest in De Jong. Coach Erik ten Hag wants him to lead his new project at Old Trafford and the English club have been negotiating a deal with Barça.
The two clubs are getting closer to an agreement, but the talks won't go anywhere if the player doesn't change his mind. And SPORT have learned that De Jong is still digging his heels in with the idea of staying at Barça. Right now, he has no intention of leaving and has transmitted that to both clubs.
The situation has become tense. For as much as they pressure him, the player wants to succeed in Barcelona. In recent weeks, De Jong has even had doubts in his agent, Ali Dursun, for his insistence in placing him at United. He doesn't like that everyone is pushing him to leave Barça, who he catalogued as "the club of my dreams since I was little" at the end of May.
At the same time, he said he had spoke with coach Xavi, but "only about football issues, the team and what we have to improve."
We will see if De Jong remains firm or if he succumbs to the pressure. Barça need him to, because a lot of their plans depend on his sale. In addition, his salary shoots up next season. The club, as they restructure their wage bill, cannot allow that spending if they want to reduce salary costs.
And United, as good as their offer is, will find it difficult to match his current terms.
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