Joan Laporta: Frenkie de Jong could still join Man Utd
The FC Barcelona club president Joan Laporta has admitted that while he will do everything in his power to keep Frenkie de Jong, but he refused to rule out the possibility of him leaving for Manchester United.
Both the two teams have agreed on €85m fee for the midfielder, but the deal is being held up by De Jong's insistence on being paid around €20m in deferred wages. Nevertheless, the Red Devils are remaining patient in their pursuit.
Laporta has spoken about the 25-year-old's future plenty in recent weeks and has often insisted that he wants the Dutchman to stay at Camp Nou, but when asked by CBS Sports whether he could categorically confirm that De Jong won't end the transfer window at Man Utd, he admitted it was still possible.
"In football, you never know. I can't say categorically. It all depends on the different parties. But in principle, I can say there is a strong possibility he stays, and I can say as president I will do my best for him to stay at Barcelona," Laporta said.
He added: "The first thing to say is we want Frenkie to stay at Barcelona. We love the player and him as a human being. I want him to stay at Barcelona. He's a high-quality player and a good guy. I also know that he wants to stay."
When asked about the need for De Jong to take a pay cut, Laporta said: "All we are doing with Frenkie is the same as the rest of the squad. The signings coming in have adjusted their salary to the new structure. But Frenkie has a contract and we respect that. We can't force him to take a pay cut. It's his decision
"We are trying to manage the football club in a prudent and sustainable way. So we have to have these talks and we do so in a calm and considered way. We have explained the situation and are grateful to any players who can help us. It was the same with Dembele and I am very grateful to him. And after months of talks, he accepted a renegotiation of his salary and he can be proud of his decision.
"If De Jong doesn't take a pay cut, then he will continue. Has has a contract. We will respect that decision. For us, he's a Barcelona player. We count on him."