Barcelona will not peddle De Jong: 'A crucial player'

According to head coach Xavi, Barcelona does not entertain the idea of selling Frenkie de Jong. The coach faced questions about the 26-year-old Dutchman's sporting future during the press event on Sunday, ahead of Monday evening's home match against Valencia.

Barcelona will not peddle De Jong: 'A crucial player' Embed from Getty Images

“For me, De Jong is a key player,” reiterated Xavi, who recently decided to continue as Barcelona’s head coach after initially planning to step down.

His affirmation of De Jong's importance comes amidst swirling rumors and media speculation, particularly highlighted by a report from the Madrid-based newspaper AS. The article claimed that Barcelona was contemplating selling De Jong, citing the potential transfer funds as a much-needed financial relief for the club, which has been grappling with economic challenges.

De Jong’s contract with Barcelona, which extends for another two years, reflects his ongoing commitment to the team. Now in his fifth season at Camp Nou, De Jong has been a central figure in Barcelona's midfield, admired for his technique, vision, and ability to control the pace of the game.

However, De Jong's current season has been marred by a recent setback—an ankle injury incurred during the Clásico against Real Madrid. This injury, expected to sideline him for about five weeks, comes at a crucial time. Yet, according to the Dutch Football Association (KNVB), the timing of his recovery is fortunately such that it should not impact his ability to represent the Netherlands in the upcoming European Championship, where he is considered a pivotal player.

Xavi addressed De Jong’s injury concerns, stating, “Frenkie has been unlucky with injuries, but his level has always been excellent.” He emphasized that despite these setbacks, De Jong’s contributions when fit are invaluable and his performance remains top-notch. “I consider Frenkie to be a crucial player,” Xavi added, underscoring his view of De Jong not just as a talented midfielder but as an integral part of the team’s core.

These developments come at a time when Barcelona is working to stabilize both its finances and its sporting prospects. While the club navigates these challenges, the speculation around De Jong highlights the difficult decisions that may lie ahead regarding which assets to retain and which might be leveraged in the pursuit of financial stability. Through it all, Xavi’s comments suggest a strong desire to keep De Jong within the fold, hinting at the Dutchman's essential role in his strategic vision for the team's future.

Updated: 01:19, 28 Apr 2024

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