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Joan Laporta refuses to rule out summer exit for Manchester United-linked Frenkie de Jong

Laporta refuses rule out summer exit for Man United-linked De Jong
© Reuters
Barcelona president Joan Laporta admits that Frenkie de Jong could leave Camp Nou during this summer's transfer window.

Barcelona president Joan Laporta has refused to rule out a summer exit for Frenkie de Jong, as the midfielder continues to be linked with a move away from Camp Nou.

Manchester United are believed to be determined to sign the Netherlands international in the upcoming market, with incoming Red Devils boss Erik ten Hag said to be in touch with the player that he managed at Ajax.

Manchester City, meanwhile, are also thought to be showing an interest in De Jong, with the Citizens looking to sign a replacement for the outgoing Fernandinho this summer.

When questioned on a possible exit for the Dutchman, Laporta refused to rule out a transfer, insisting that the Catalan giants would always do "what is best for the club".

"We will do what is best for the club. If the economic levers that we want to activate come off, no player will leave for economic reasons," Laporta told Catalunya Radio.

"I insist. Let the sports management work. There are players who are quoted to have received offers. In the sports area, Xavi and Mateu Alemany rule and he ends up deciding the club's sports management. I will follow what the professionals of the club say."

Barcelona midfielder Frenkie de Jong pictured in October 2021© Reuters

A recent report claimed that Barcelona would be prepared to sell the Dutchman for a free in the region of £50m due to their ongoing financial problems.

However, Man United's lack of Champions League football next term could ultimately cost them the chance to sign him, with the Red Devils instead set to battle West Ham United for a spot in the Europa League on the final weekend of the Premier League campaign.

De Jong has been a regular for Barcelona this term, making 46 appearances in all competitions, contributing four goals and five assists in the process, including three goals and three assists in 31 La Liga matches.

There has been a host of speculation surrounding the 25-year-old's future in recent days, though, and Barcelona boss Xavi also recently admitted that a departure this summer was possible for 'economic reasons'.

"He's an important player for me, and he started every game except for a few due to rotations. But it depends on the economic situation. For me, Frenkie could be one of the club legends," Xavi told reporters ahead of the league match with Getafe on Sunday.

Barcelona coach Xavi during the match on April 18, 2022© Reuters

De Jong has scored 13 goals and registered 17 assists in 139 appearances for the Catalan giants since making the move from Ajax in 2019, and he still has more than four years left to run on his contract.

However, according to Italian journalist Fabrizio Romano, incoming Man United boss Ten Hag is desperately attempting to convince his former player to make the move to Old Trafford.

Romano claims that Champions League football is the Dutchman's 'main priority', which could cost the Red Devils the chance to bring him to Manchester during this summer's transfer window.

Paul Pogba and Nemanja Matic are both set to leave Old Trafford on free transfers at the end of next month, so at least one new central midfielder will be arriving at the club this summer.

Ten Hag has already started work as Man United manager despite only finishing his league season with Ajax on Sunday, with the Dutchman saying that 'several things need to be organised' at the club, who will have had their worst ever season in the Premier League in terms of points regardless of what happens against Crystal Palace in their final game on Sunday.

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Manchester United midfielder Paul Pogba pictured on February 8, 2022
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