Manchester United’s top target Frenkie de Jong ‘wants to STAY’ at Barcelona, reveals Joan Laporta… and club chief insists they are happy to keep him as long as he takes a pay cut amid row over £17m in deferred wages
- Barcelona chief Joan Laporta has insisted he wants Frenkie de Jong to stay
- Dutch midfielder still must take a pay cut to help Barca balance their books
- Manchester United are still desperate to sign the former Ajax star this summer
- Spanish giants have added Jules Kounde to their busy summer of shopping
Barcelona president Joan Laporta has reiterated that he wants Frenkie de Jong to stay at the Spanish club – but the Dutchman must be prepared to accept a pay cut.
The club currently owe De Jong £17million in deferred wages, but he has been asked to take a pay cut if he wants to to say in Spain.
De Jong has been Manchester United’s number one target all summer, with Erik ten Hag keen to link-up with the midfielder he coached during their time together at Ajax. Chelsea have also been linked with the Dutch star, too.
A fee between the Red Devils and Barcelona has been agreed, with United set to pay an initial £63million for the 25-year-old to bring him to Old Trafford.
Barcelona president Joan Laporta says he wants Dutch midfielder Frenkie de Jong to stay – and he believes the player wants to stay too
Frenkie de Jong will need to take a pay cut if he wants to stay at Barcelona this season
But speaking during Barcelona’s pre-season tour of the USA, Laporta claims he wants De Jong to stay at the club and hopes he can accept a pay cut to remain at the Nou Camp.
‘He wants to stay and we want him to stay. That is the most important,’ he said.
‘What is clear is that we have a new salary scale and all the players have to fit into it. We are trying to make these players understand the reality of the club.
‘We find ourselves with a salary mass triggered by more than 40 per cent.
‘We all have to make an effort. We are going to do everything possible to make him stay and we hope that the player will also do everything possible to stay.’
Erik ten Hag has been chasing Frenkie de Jong all summer and wants to bring him to United
Barcelona have been busy themselves in the summer transfer window and Laporta has hit out at Bayern Munich, who have criticised the club’s spending, especially after star striker Robert Lewandowski quit the club to join Xavi’s side.
The 60-year-old said: ‘I have noticed a certain ignorance and lack of information on the part of some of those responsible, some have even distorted reality.
‘It is true that a year ago we were in a critical situation. But we are a 122-year-old club with very important assets. They were not aware of the strength and support that this club has.
‘If I don’t get involved in how they run the club, I would ask them to do the same and not mess with us. Let them worry about their own.’
Barca have had a busy summer, singing a host of new faces despite questions over finances
As well as Lewandowski, the Spanish giants have also added Franck Kessie, Andreas Christensen, Raphinha and their latest recruit Jules Kounde from Seville.
Barca beat off competition from Chelsea for the French international and Laporta is pleased with his latest acquisition, saying;
‘Very happy. It is one more demonstration that the footballers want to come even if they charge less.’
Joan Laporta suggests that Lionel Messi should return to Barcelona to end his legacy
During his press conference, the Barca chief also teased the idea of a Lionel Messi return at some point in the future. Suggesting that it didn’t end the way it should have for the club and it’s Argentinian legend.
‘I feel co-responsible for this ending. I believe that it is a provisional end and that we will make this aspiration a reality.
‘We have a clear moral debt with him and I would like the end of his career to be with the Barça shirt and being applauded in all fields.’
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