- De Jong was wanted by Manchester United
- Spoke to Ter Stegen about his future
- Chose to stay at Barcelona
WHAT HAPPENED? De Jong was heavily linked with a move to Manchester United in the summer transfer window even though he repeatedly insisted he wanted to stay at Barcelona. Ter Stegen says he spoke to De Jong at the time and did his best to ensure the Dutchman stayed at the Camp Nou.
WHAT THEY SAID?: "He brings a lot, I have a super high opinion of him but I also expect a lot from him because he has so much talent. He sees and feels football in a different way and this is why he is someone that Gavi and Pedri, for example, can look up to," he told The Times. “I was hoping he would stay because this is the type of player I want to have in my team. I want to make very clear, when I talked to him I tried to [make him stay]. One day I will just put him in something here [he pretends to tie a rope around a chair leg] to keep him here always. I hope he will be here for a long time."
THE BIGGER PICTURE: Barcelona may have to sell off some key assets in the summer after being told to reduce their wage bill by €200 million. However, De Jong remains determined to stay with the club and has said he wants to play for Barcelona for the next 10 years.
IN THREE PHOTOS:GettyGetty ImagesGetty
DID YOU KNOW? Ter Stegen has kept 16 clean sheets and conceded just seven goals in 21 La Liga matches so far this season for Barcelona.
WHAT NEXT FOR BARCELONA? De Jong and Barcelona will come up against Manchester United next as Xavi's side welcome the Red Devils to Camp Nou on Thursday for the first leg of their Europa League knockout play-off tie.