Barcelona have no intention of selling Frenkie de Jong to Manchester United, according to club president Joan Laporta, although he admitted the club’s perilous financial situation could create the “need” for a sale.
At the time, Laporta wrote that he had a clear desire for Cristiano Ronaldo to leave Manchester United “interesting” but would not be interested in whether the Blaugrana would point to the Portuguese legend.
De Jong, who played for Erik ten Hag in Ajax before moving to Barcelona in 2019, has been linked with a move to Manchester United since the Dutchman was announced as the club’s new manager in April.
While the midfielder expressed his desire to stay in Barcelona in May, the club’s need to reduce wage debt has led to suggestions that a sale could be made.
Laporta said last week he would “do my best” to keep De Jong, but agreed that Netherlands international would need to agree to a salary adjustment to stay at Camp Nou.
The Blaugrana president reiterated the decision on Wednesday during the launch of the new player Franck Kessie, referring to De Jong: “He is a Barca player and if we do not need him, we will not sell him. We do not want to sell him.
“We know he has promises, but at the moment we are not selling the player.”
Although Ten Hag appears to see De Jong as a worthy player to play for his new United team, it remains to be seen whether Ronaldo will stay at Old Trafford following widespread reports of his desire to join the UEFA Champions League last week.
Cristiano Ronaldo scored 24 goals in all competitions for United last season, but the club finished the season in sixth place with the lowest points in the Premier League (58 points).
But Laporta has refused to be questioned on whether Barcelona can perform a spectacular feat for the 37-year-old, who has starred in four Champions League victories with his historic rivals Real Madrid.
“I had dinner on Monday with [Ronaldo’s agent] Jorge Mendes and talked about the general market,” he added.
“Cristiano? I’m not talking about the players who came out of the meeting, but it ‘s interesting to know what some of the market names are.
“I will not talk about the players in any way, it is misunderstood. It does not add to Barca’s interests. We have to respect players who have contracts with other teams.”
Meanwhile, Barcelona’s need to improve its financial position to strengthen Xavi’s squad has led to uncertainty over the future of striker Ousmane Dembele, whose contract with the club expired last month.
Dembele made 13 assistants in all competitions than any other Barca player last season, and while Laporta wants to keep the 2018 World Cup winner, he says the 25-year-old has not yet responded to the club’s request.
“We are in a state of uncertainty. At the moment, we have not been able to sign him,” he said.
“We are talking to the players we are interested in waiting for us, Ousmane is not a Barca player, but we have given him a promise.
“He does not accept our proposal, but wants to continue talking, we will continue to talk, at least for now.
“Salary balance is needed for the team to compete. All negotiations are organized according to this situation. We are not in a hurry, although we know we will not be delayed. No one should expect us to do nothing about the team.