EXCL: World Cup-winning midfielder tells Barcelona to sell Frenkie de Jong – ‘He should go to England for me’

Interview conducted with Grosvenor Sport

Former Barcelona, Arsenal and France midfielder Emmanuel Petit has advised the Catalan side to cash in on Frenkie de Jong this summer, and the Dutchman to take a leap to the Premier League. The 26-year-old has been heavily linked with a move to Manchester United in recent summers, and Bayern Munich more recently, but has thus far maintained a desire to remain at the club.

Barcelona look to be considering a clearout in the upcoming transfer window, or at least considering offers for the majority of their stars. Marc-Andre ter Stegen, Pau Cubarsi, Lamine Yamal and Gavi have been reported as the untouchable elements in their squad, with all others in the squad able to leave if the right offer comes in. Petit told Football España that focusing their future on the youngsters was the right move, beyond how they handle the rest of their business.

“I totally agree, that they should hang onto their youngsters. The fact that they are not getting, or don’t have the top, top money now, means they have to go back to their DNA, to the academy, and those guys represent the future of the club.”

He even said their sale could cause problems in the dressing room.

“Can you imagine the reaction, from the fans, if they put those guys up for sale? (Gavi, Cubarsi, Lamine Yamal) It would be an earthquake. Nobody would understand it, starting with the players, and they don’t have a choice but to keep their best young players and build around them.”

“Top clubs in Europe have a vision, they work for many years on it, they don’t change their plans every season, and they build their team around a spine, those young players have to be that spine.”

De Jong’s future has been a hot-button topic for years now in Catalonia though, with some swearing by his quality, and others doubting how much he shifts the needle. He will be one of the highest earners at the club next season, and until he gives the green light, will remain in situ, but Petit feels an exit would be best for all involved.

“De Jong has to leave the club. He has been there for four or five years now, and he hasn’t made an impact. He’s a good player, but he doesn’t fit Barcelona. He should move, and to be honest with you, he should play in England I think.”

“There are other players, for me the priority is the best young players, you have to keep some experienced ones, like Ilkay Gundogan, but there are some other ageing players that have to leave the club at the end of the season. They represent a huge amount of money for the club, in wages. I hope Barcelona will analyse the situation, and find the right solutions in the summer.”

“I hope they don’t spend – well, they don’t have the money anyway – but they have to build around the young core. Some players need to leave the club though, some experienced players, and some that didn’t make an impact at Barcelona, and they should leave. I think it’s quite clear to see the type of players I’m talking about.”

As is customary at this time of year, Barcelona have been linked with all manner of players, with the priority reportedly being a pivot in midfield and then a left winger. Any hope of bringing in more quality runs through losing some in sales though, and with few candidates to bring big money to Barcelona, it would be no surprise to see the pressure applied to de Jong again.

Tags Barcelona Bayern Munich Chelsea Emmanuel Petit Frenkie de Jong Manchester United
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