Frenkie de Jong looks to have given the biggest hint yet that he will remain at Barcelona despite interest from Manchester United.
The Dutchman has been linked with a switch to Old Trafford, where Erik ten Hag is now in charge. It was under Ten Hag that De Jong first rose to prominence, excelling in the Ajax side that made the last four of the Champions League back in 2019. Those performances earned him a move to the Nou Camp.
De Jong has just completed his third season at Barcelona with the club failing to deliver for much of his time there. United are in the market for a central midfielder whilst Xavi is in the process of overhauling his squad in Catalunya. It led to rumours of a De Jong exit.
However the Dutchman has addressed the Barcelona fans on social media, admitting their campaign had been below par but underlining his determination to make a difference next term.
He said: “It has been a disappointing season for us. We couldn’t achieve the goals we set at the beginning. But I want to thank the fans for their support this year. We will work hard to do better next season.”
Barcelona changed managers midseason after axing Ronald Koeman. Xavi has shown in glimpses that his side are on the up, securing a memorable 4-0 win over champions Real Madrid at the Bernabeu. They finished second in LaLiga, but exited the Champions League at the group stages.
Midfielders Pedri and Gavi continue to develop at the Nou Camp, but De Jong’s situation remains uncertain following comments made by Xavi.
He said: “For me, Frenkie is a great player, he’s a beast – I like him and I think he can be part of an important era of the club. We will see the economic situation of the club… but I like De Jong.”
Back in February the Dutch midfielder told the Guardian : “I’m very happy I’m at Barcelona: from a young age I’ve wanted to be here, so in that way it has been a dream come true. I would have liked to win more trophies than we did in my first two years. I expected more in that sense, let’s put it that way. But other than that, I’m very happy here and hopefully for many more years.”
Declan Rice and Kalvin Phillips have both been identified as potential options, but both men could yet remain at the current clubs, West Ham and Leeds respectively.