Barcelona Sporting Director Deco makes first contact with Frenkie de Jong agents amid new contract speculation

Barcelona Sporting Director Deco has confirmed that he has been in contact with Frenkie de Jong’s agent, although he denies having discussed anything more than general greetings.

De Jong was in the form of his life before picking up an injury in September. Where before there were doubts, it seems highly likely that de Jong will set the tone in Barcelona’s midfield for many years to come.

Yet relations with Barcelona’s hierarchy are still thought to be strained, after the club tried to tout him to Manchester United for a big fee. In particular, it was believed that departed Director of Football Mateu Alemany in particular was not to the liking of de Jong’s agency.

One of the big tasks for Deco is thought to be repairing those relations and eventually securing de Jong to another deal. De Jong has a contract until 2026, but the club want to tie him down for even longer and get him to take a pay cut in the process. Deco denied to MD that he had opened negotiations.

“Firstly, I have sent some messages to agents I didn’t know to introduce myself. And what I did with Frenkie was this. Frenkie is not alone with this date [of contract expiry]. There are others. When we talk about the future, about solidity, they are players who we would like to stay at the club for many years.”

“But we haven’t talked about renewal yet, the only conversation has been to introduce myself. We like Frenkie, as we like Pedri, Araujo, Gavi, Gundogan… Who can be at the club for many years. Frenkie is at a perfect age as a footballer and is playing at a high level. That’s why we want him to be there for quite a few years.”

Deco stepped away from the idea that relations had deteriorated in the past, but said he was confident that de Jong would be there long-term.

“I don’t know what happened in the past, I can’t talk about things I wasn’t present for. But more important than the agents or me, what is important is the player. In the end the player is the one who decides his life. The important thing is that I see a happy, happy player, enjoying himself, playing football at a high level.”

“And at Barca the players have to be happy to play at their best level, knowing the pressure that exists, but that they are comfortable, and I see Frenkie comfortable, he has a contract for this season and two more and the important thing is that he Keep enjoying the club, just like the rest.”

The Dutch midfielder has never been shy about the fact his boyhood dream was to play for and live in Barcelona, and given the way he dug his heels in to stay two seasons ago, it would be a surprise if he tried to leave in the near future, with his first child to be delivered shortly.

That slightly weakens his negotiating position. Following the events of the summer of 2022 though, Barcelona will have to be careful to avoid stepping on his toes now, given he is such an important player.

Tags Barcelona Deco Frenkie de Jong Mateu Alemany
La Liga - Club News