Barcelona manager Xavi Hernandez has quashed speculations that midfield mainstay Frenkie de Jong could leave for Manchester United in the summer.
Speaking to the press ahead of Barcelona’s La Liga game against Rayo Vallecano, manager Xavi Hernandez has responded to the rumours linking midfielder Frenkie de Jong with a summer transfer to Premier League giants Manchester United.
De Jong has been with Barcelona for almost three years now, having signed from AFC Ajax in the summer of 2019. While he has been a permanent fixture in the middle of the park at Camp Nou, the Dutchman is yet to hit the heights expected of him when he arrived in a deal worth around €86 million.
There had been reports earlier this season which claimed that Barcelona could be open to selling the 24-year-old to generate revenue. However, since then, de Jong has grown into a vital part of the setup under Xavi and has played a role in their resurgent run during the second half of the season.
But ahead of the summer, speculations over his future are starting to do the rounds yet again. Manchester United are being linked with a move for the Dutch international as they prepare to embark on a new journey under Erik ten Hag.
The 52-year-old Ajax boss has been named as the new Manchester United manager and will take over the reins at Old Trafford once the current season is over. It was under ten Hag that de Jong flourished at Ajax before securing his big move to Barcelona. So, it is not surprising that the links to United are doing the rounds soon after his appointment.
But, Xavi has dismissed those speculations and has challenged the 24-year-old to become the best midfielder in the game at Barcelona. As quoted by Goal, the Barcelona manager said, “I haven’t talked with him about his future. He is playing at a very good level and has to continue here – he can be one of the best midfielders in the world for years to come.”
“If it were up to me, I would continue here for many more years. He is very important and can mark an era here. He has to score, assist and he has to be the protagonist,” Xavi added.
Frenkie de Jong has a contract with Barcelona that runs until the summer of 2026. And the Catalans have no interest in offloading their prized asset this summer. So, Manchester United will have to look elsewhere for reinforcements in midfield.