Frenkie De Jong makes Erik ten Hag confession after talks with Xavi over Man Utd move

Frenkie De Jong “enjoyed working with Erik ten Hag” but reiterated his preference is to remain at Barcelona this summer.

The Dutchman has just finished his third season at the Nou Camp but is being heavily linked with a move to Manchester United. The Catalans are attempting to balance the books as they deal with financial issues which could yet force them to cash in on De Jong.

United are in the market for a central midfielder and Ten Hag saw first hand how effective De Jong can be during his Ajax tenure. The Barcelona man, who left the Dutch giants in 2019, played a vital role in their journey to the last four of the Champions League.

De Jong has held talks with Xavi regarding his future as the club legend – and now coach – attempts to overhaul the squad in Catalunya. The 25-year-old said: “I have enough confidence in myself [to be a success at Barcelona]. I am not afraid. I recently spoke extensively with the trainer [Xavi]. That was a very good conversation.

“I will not go into that [the links to United]. Not even about other names or clubs. I used to be naive and open-minded about it. I don’t do that anymore. I understand that that link is made. That sum is not that difficult, it is logical. I have enjoyed working with Ten Hag at Ajax – and I can’t look into the future, of course. But I prefer to stay at Barcelona.

“That has always been my dream club and it still is. As long as I don’t hear from the club management, I assume nothing is going on.” De Jong is vying for a midfield spot with highly-thought of youngsters Pedri and Gavi.

Erik ten Hag have previously seen Frenkie de Jong thrive at Ajax

Erik ten Hag have previously seen Frenkie de Jong thrive at Ajax
Getty Images)

Barcelona missed out on the LaLiga title but showed in glimpses what they can offer going forward after a January window that saw Xavi sign the likes of Ferran Torres and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang. Robert Lewandowski is now being linked with a switch to Spain after expressing a desire to leave Germany.

But the Barcelona boss has confessed, whilst De Jong is a key figure, the club’s finances will have to be factored in. He said: “For me he is a very important player. He has been a starter almost all the time. He is a fundamental footballer but then there is the economic situation, on which we all depend.”

“We need to know the financial situation in order to make some decisions and then we will take one decision or another – I don’t mean with Frenkie – I mean in general. He is a player that I like a lot, but we will see what the situation is.”

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