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De Jong told he is 'loved' at Barcelona as Cruyff rules out 2023 transfer for long-term Man Utd target

10:59 EAT 08/12/2022
 Frenkie de Jong Barcelona 2022-23
Barcelona director Jordi Cruyff has insisted that Frenkie de Jong is "loved" at Barcelona and ruled out selling a long-term Manchester United target.
  • De Jong will stay at Camp Nou
  • The Dutch midfielder has an important role
  • Economic fair play forced club to think of a sale

WHAT HAPPENED? The Netherlands international was linked with a move to Old Trafford in the summer, but the midfielder put his foot down and stalled the transfer. In October, De Jong admitted there was external pressure for him to make a move, including from president Joan Laporta as the Catalan club were looking to cut costs. However, the saga is in the past for Cruyff, who has assured supporters that De Jong is no longer on the market and remains an "important" player for head coach Xavi.

WHAT THEY SAID: "Today this is not being talked about. In football there are moments and sometimes they are not defined solely by football issues. The fair play situation. Not everyone understands what it is, there are changes every week, but there are situations and decisions that are not just football things. But time has passed and he has an important role," the Barca chief said to Sport.

"The reality is that Frenkie has stayed, he is a loved player, people expect a lot from him because he is very talented and a slightly different player. There was the possibility because good players are always wanted by good teams, it works like that. The reality is that he is here and he is playing an important role.''

THE BIGGER PICTURE: Cruyff did, however, admit that La Liga's financial fair play rules were major obstacles and the implications of flouting those regulations forced the club to think of selling the player. He added: "There are market moments and it’s no longer with Frenkie, but with everyone, there is a fair play rule and the consequences of not complying with it are enormous and there are calculations that have nothing to do with what happens on the pitch. It is an accumulation of things and you do some calculations. There is no other way. Fair play forces you to make decisions.''

IN THREE PHOTOS:

WHAT NEXT FOR DE JONG? The Barcelona midfielder is currently with the Netherlands national team playing in the 2022 World Cup and will be in action against Argentina on Friday in the quarter-finals.