Barcelona manager Xavi wants to keep 25-year-old Frenkie de Jong at the club but admits financial problems could force a sale in the summer
Although de Jong is one of Xavi’s most important players, he may also represent a quick way for Barcelona to generate funds with the likes of Manchester United monitoring the situation closely.
In January 2021, Barcelona revealed considerable debt totaling an estimated £1.02billion as a result of financial mismanagement.
The report showed Barcelona still owes £112million to various clubs for the purchases of Philippe Coutinho, Malcom, de Jong, Arthur, and Arturo Vidal, several of whom are no longer at the club.
Xavi said: ‘For me, he is a very important player. He has been a starter almost all the time.
‘He is a fundamental footballer but then there is the economic situation, on which we all depend
‘We need to know the financial situation in order to make some decisions and then we will take one decision or another – I don’t mean with Frenkie – I mean in general.
‘He is a player that I like a lot, but we will see what the situation is.”
When asked about the players he deemed too important to sell Xavi was notably reticent on de Jong’s future, and United is understood to be strong suitors for the Dutchman.
United will be in the market for a new central midfielder when Nemanja Matic and Paul Pogba leave as free agents at the end of next month, and sources have confirmed that de Jong is a player the club admires
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However, there are a number of obstacles to be overcome including Barca’s £70million valuation
The player’s reluctance to leave the Nou Camp, and his expectation of Champions League football
Red Devils legend Rio Ferdinand has backed the club to sign the 25-year-old after ten Hag discussed him as a target, and believes the ‘outstanding’ star would be a sign of things to come.
‘They’re saying Frenkie de Jong could be the first player to come in under Erik ten Hag and I would be saying “yes, great signing”.
‘He’s not huge in terms of the frame but he is quick with the ball, really good dribbler, can get out of tight situations, makes good decisions, good passer, his balance and dribbling ability are really good.
‘[Man United] are a team who are looking for players who can control the ball and control the game and get the team functioning in terms of balance and possession, I think he would be a good addition