Barcelona President Joan Laporta said Frenkie de Jong is not for sale after months of speculation about his long-term future at the Camp Nou.
The 25-year-old was the subject of a lengthy transfer saga last summer, with Manchester United and Chelsea both showing interest in the midfielder.
De Jong ended up staying in Spain and Laporta said he sees him as an important part of Barcelona’s first-team squad. He has scored twice in 18 games for Barcelona this season.
Laporta said on Thursday: “As for De Jong, I admit that last summer there were clubs interested in buying him but he was not for sale and will not be.
“De Jong is a very appealing footballer, we know that, but I insist he is not for sale. No matter what can be discussed in internal meetings, the opinion of the association takes precedence. And from a club perspective, De Jong is not for sale.”
Laporta also said Ousmane Dembele would not be allowed to leave the club even if a rival made a bid in the region of €70m (£62m).
Dembele’s current contract expires in June 2024 but Laporta is not looking to capitalize on the French winger.
“He’s not for sale,” Laporta added. “Contract extension? We’ll talk about that when the time comes.
“He’s one of the most important players on the team. He feels important. I’d say he’s one of our big guns. He’s lightning fast. He’s not for sale, not even for 70 million euros.”
Speculation has also been rife when it comes to arrivals, with Manchester City’s Bernardo Silva reportedly attracting interest from Barcelona.
Laporta poured cold water on reports Barcelona have inked a €80m deal for the Portuguese playmaker as he said his club could not afford such a deal.
“If we have an agreement to pay 80 million euros for him? Not true. The only thing that is certain is that he won’t come to Barcelona for 80 million euros because we can’t pay for it.”
Laporta’s Barcelona are currently leading La Liga, level on points with second-placed Real Madrid.
They meet Atletico Madrid at the Metropolitano Stadium on Sunday.
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(Photo: Getty Images)
https://theathletic.com/4061140/2023/01/05/frenkie-de-jong-barcelona-future/ Barcelona President Joan Laporta rules out the sale of Frenkie de Jong