Barcelona president Joan Laporta has admitted that the Spanish giants turned down a €100 million bid for Dutch midfielder Frenkie de Jong “to not lose our ability to be competitive.”
Laporta did not reveal which club lodged a €100m offer for De Jong, but both Manchester United and Bayern Munich have expressed their interest in the former Ajax man over the past two transfer windows.
In 2022, Erik ten Hag’s first transfer window as Man Utd boss, the Red Devils heavily pursued a move for De Jong and had even reportedly agreed an €85m fee with Barcelona.
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A deal looked set to be finalised, but De Jong himself rejected the chance to be reunited with Ten Hag after the pair worked together at Ajax.
The midfielder stated his desire to stay at Barcelona, despite their financial issues meaning offloading his wages would’ve helped the club massively.
De Jong later agreed a wage cut at Camp Nou in order to confirm his future at the club. The Dutchman currently has a deal that runs until 2026 after signing an extension back in 2020.
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What has Laporta said?
Speaking to the media, as per 90min, Laporta admitted that transfer interest in De Jong reached the stage where a €100m bid was submitted.
“We cannot improve sportingly if we do not do our homework economically,” he said. “We have had the opportunity to sell Frenkie de Jong for €100m, and we did not want to do it so as not to lose our ability to be competitive.”
Man Utd’s attempts to sign De Jong in 2022 resulted in failure, and Ten Hag signed Mason Mount this summer instead.
As for De Jong, he played a key role as Barca won La Liga last season, making 33 league appearances, scoring two goals and providing four assists.
He is currently sidelined with an ankle injury and is expected to be out of action for a little while longer.