Barcelona president Joan Laporta insists the club have “no intention” of selling Manchester United target Frenkie De Jong, but says the midfielder may have to accept a salary adjustment to remain at Camp Nou.
De Jong, who emerged as one of the hottest spots in European football under Erik ten Hag at Ajax before joining Barca in 2019, has been heavily linked with a move to Old Trafford since his former manager took over at United.
The Dutchman said in May his choice would be to stay at Camp Nou, which he called “his dream club”, but Blaugrana’s financial problems led to speculation that he might leave.
Barcelona’s desire to sign Bayern Munich striker Robert Lewandowski has fueled speculation, but Laporta believes De Jong is happy at the club and could stay – if a deal can be reached for his salary.
“Frenkie de Jong is a Barca player and is considered one of the best players in the world,” Laporta told reporters.
“We know about the clubs that want him, not just United, and we have no intention of selling him. The player, I get the idea, wants to stay.
“He is free from Barca and I will do my best to keep Frank here, but it is also a matter of salary and it will have to be fixed.
“It is certain that the salaries of some players do not match the salaries set by the board of directors that I have the right to pay.”
De Jong played 47 games for Barcelona in the 2021-22 season, scoring four goals and boasting the best pass rate (91.18 percent) of any team midfielder to play at least 20 games in all competitions.
Laporta has refused to be drawn to Barcelona’s interest in Lewandowski, however, simply confirming his respect for the current Polish club.
“He is a Bayern player,” said the striker, who robbed the Bundesliga champions of 50 goals last season.
“Everyone knows he’s a great player, but I’d like to be kept because he’s a Bayern player.
“We know he has made it clear that he wants to come to Barca and we are very happy, but we respect Bayern Munich, which is one of the best teams in the world. Among the clubs, we respect each other.”