Barcelona president Joan Laporta has revealed why the club turned down a €100 million (£87 million/$106 million) approach for Manchester United target Frenkie de Jong.
The Netherlands international midfielder was heavily linked with a move to England during the summer of 2022. Former Ajax boss Erik ten Hag had taken the reins at Old Trafford and was eager to be reunited with a player that he had previously worked with in Amsterdam.
THE BIGGER PICTURE
United made several approaches for De Jong, but they were all resisted by the classy Dutch playmaker. Barca were also reluctant sellers, with much-publicised financial issues at Camp Nou the only reason that they were prepared to listen to offers at all.
WHAT THEY SAID
De Jong ended up staying put and has become a key cog in Barcelona’s midfield machine, with Laporta saying of why the club are delighted to have fended off big-money bids: “We cannot improve sportingly if we do not do our homework economically. 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.”
WHAT HAPPENS NEXT?
De Jong has seen a new contract at Barca speculated on, as his value to the cause is recognised, and United have since moved in a different direction by adding the likes of Casemiro, Mason Mount and Sofyan Amrabat to their options in the middle of the park.