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Frenkie De Jong opens up on summer debacle with Barcelona

My Football FactsArticles

By Martin Graham | 21st Nov 2022

Netherlands midfielder Frenkie De Jong has opened up on the summer saga involving him and Barcelona.

He bared it all in a chat with De Telegraaf, who were at the Netherlands World Cup camp in Qatar to speak to him and other Oranje squad members.

De Jong was the subject of intense transfer speculation during the summer thanks to Barcelona’s financial woes. Being one of the most valuable and talented members of the squad, the Catalans valued him at over £70 million and clubs like Manchester United, Bayern Munich and Chelsea were lining up for his signature.

The club even agreed a transfer fee with Man United, who are managed by Erik ten Hag, the man who brought De Jong to prominence. The move did not materialise in the end and Barcelona president Joan Laporta then tried to get him to renegotiate the terms of his contract in case they could not find a way to move him on.

However, the whole issue ended with the former AFC Ajax Amsterdam man staying and becoming one of Xavi Hernandez’s key players this season.

It is a move that has benefitted Xavi greatly but many are calling his role in the whole transfer saga into question. De Jong, however, exonerated his manager while shedding some light on the happenings of the summer transfer window.

“I never got the feeling that Xavi was against me,” De Jong said. “To the media he said that he was happy with me but that there’s also the financial part of the club.

“I really don’t put the blame on Xavi.”

De Jong also spoke on the debacle which occured when the details of his contract was leaked to the press during the transfer window.

“One day a paper published details from my contract. I didn’t leak it and only one other party knew about this, so it had to be the club who did this,” he said.

“Suddenly there was a letter in which the question was asked whether my contract was still valid because the previous president made the contract. I found it very annoying that the club did this, but I had no further influence on things.

“I blame these people [Barça’s leadership], but I have nothing to do with them. Yes, they are Barça for me because they lead the club. But I don’t see them when I’m at the club.”

He then reiterated his desire to remain at Barcelona for a long time, because it has been the club of his dreams since he was a child, sending a clear transfer message to ten Hag and others who are hoping to cut a deal for his signature.

“I am very happy in Barcelona,” he said. “When I play it’s great and in terms of living here life is perfect. I see myself in Barcelona for as long as possible. I personally hope for another eight or 10 years.”

Martin Graham is an MFF sports writer

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