Man Utd dealt HUGE transfer blow as Barcelona chief reveals there’s a ‘strong possibility Frenkie de Jong STAYS at club’

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BARCELONA president Joan Laporta has revealed there is a “strong possibility” Frenkie de Jong stays at the club this summer.

The news comes as a huge blow to Manchester United, who have been trying to sign the midfielder for the entire summer.

Barcelona president Joan Laporta has said there is a "strong possibility" Frenkie de Jong stays at the club

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Barcelona president Joan Laporta has said there is a “strong possibility” Frenkie de Jong stays at the clubCredit: Getty
Laporta has said the club do not want to sell De Jong

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Laporta has said the club do not want to sell De JongCredit: AFP

Erik ten Hag is eager to be reunited with De Jong at Old Trafford after the pair previously worked together at Ajax.

But after the two clubs agreed a deal, Laporta has now claimed he wants the Dutch midfielder to stay at Barcelona.

And the Barca chief said the feeling is mutual – with De Jong too wanting to stay put at the Nou Camp.

Laporta told CBS: “The first thing to say is we want Frenkie to stay at Barcelona. We love the player and him as a human being.

“I want him to stay at Barcelona. He’s a high-quality player and a good guy. I also know that he wants to stay.”

The Barca president didn’t definitively rule out De Jong joining the Red Devils, but insisted he would do all he could for the midfielder to stay.

When asked if he could categorically say De Jong will not join United, Laporta answered: “In football, you never know. I can’t say categorically. It all depends on the different parties.

“But in principle, I can say there is a strong possibility he stays, and I can say as president I will do my best for him to stay at Barcelona.”

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The two clubs agreed a £72m fee for De Jong last month, but an issue over unpaid wages means the deal has not gone through.

Barcelona owe De Jong millions after he previously deferred his wages, which the cash-strapped club do not want to pay.

There have been efforts to get De Jong to take a pay cut, but Laporta said he can’t “force” De Jong to slash his earnings.

Speaking about asking De Jong to take a wage cut, Laporta said: “All we are doing with Frenkie is the same as the rest of the squad. The signings coming in have adjusted their salary to the new structure.

“But Frenkie has a contract and we respect that. We can’t force him to take a pay cut. It’s his decision.”

United legend Gary Neville has suggested De Jong should take legal action over his unpaid earnings.

In response to Neville’s claims, Laporta said: “I respect his opinion. But in my opinion he’s not right because I insist we are respecting all our players. We follow the contracts.

“If we invest in new players it’s to make the club more competitive. It’s a circle: You invest in new players, the fans engage and that in turn improves our economy.

“Gary has been a very good football player for Manchester United. I respect his opinion and that’s all I have to say.”

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