Saturday, June 15News That Matters

Joan Laporta sends message to Man Utd over Frenkie de Jong transfer

Joan Laporta remains adamant that Manchester United are wasting their time still trying to sign Frenkie de Jong this summer.

Erik ten Hag has made signing the former Ajax star his top transfer priority and, after weeks of negotiations, United thought they were close to striking a deal for a fee of around £56m in addition to various add-ons which would take the total package to £75m.

But the two teams still appear to be at odds over the structure of the deal, with Barcelona keen to receive a bigger guaranteed fee up front.

Xavi has also made it clear to Barcelona’s hierarchy that he does not want to sanction the sale of De Jong until they have agreed a deal for his replacement.

The Spaniard’s top choice is Manchester City midfielder Bernardo Silva and Laporta actually met with the player’s agent, Jorge Mendes, earlier this week.

Speaking on Wednesday, however, at the unveiling of new signing Franck Kessie, Laporta said Barcelona had no desire to sell De Jong, who himself is said to be torn over a move to Old Trafford.

‘Frenkie de Jong is not for sale,’ said the Barcelona president. ‘We don’t want to sell him.’

Laporta also issued an update on Ousmane Dembele who is now a free agent after his Barca contract expired last week.

The Frenchman has a number of suitors in Europe, including Chelsea and Paris Saint-Germain, but Barca still remain hopeful of coming up with an offer that would convince the winger to sign a new contract.

Laporta said: ‘No precise date has been set for Dembélé’s renewal. He is no longer a Barça player, but an offer was made to him as a result of sporting interest.

‘They have answered. At the moment they do not accept it, but they do not reject it either.’


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