Frenkie de Jong reported for duty to Barcelona’s pre-season training camp on yesterday afternoon along with the other players who were representing their respective national teams into June. Before his first session he met with Xavi Hernandez, Mateu Alemany and Jordi Cruyff to try to understand his situation.
That’s according to Mundo Deportivo, who report that Xavi and De Jong had already had a conversation at the end of last season to make his personal position clear. For Xavi, De Jong is a footballer of fundamental importance. If he could have his way there’s no question that De Jong would stay at Camp Nou for many years.
But there are other concerns at play and they were explained by Alemany and Cruyff. Barcelona’s financial issues are well documented at this point and a huge sale of the type De Jong’s would be could ease a whole host of problems the Catalan club are currently trying to navigate – this wouldn’t just be through the transfer fee received but also in the €30m in wages saved.
The only way De Jong could stay at Barcelona would be if he agreed to a substantial pay-cut, and it’s understood that’s highly unlikely. Of the clubs interested in prising him from Camp Nou, it’s thought Chelsea and Manchester United are the frontrunners.