Barcelona president Joan Laporta has handed Manchester United a potential blow in their pursuit of Frenkie de Jong. He claims that the Blaugrana are not looking to sell the midfielder.
De Jong, 25, has been at the top of the Red Devils' transfer wishlist ever since Erik ten Hag took over at Old Trafford.
United have reportedly agreed a £55 million initial fee with Barca for the Dutch midfielder, but Laporta seems to have cast doubt over the potential move.
The Barcelona president is quoted as saying, (via Fabrizio Romano):
“There are many clubs that want him, not just Man United. We have no intention of selling him, he wants to stay. I'm going to do everything to keep Frenkie, but there’s also a salary issue and that would have to be adjusted."
The transfer saga has been ongoing since May when United's interest was first rumored. The Catalan giants' troubled financial situation had seemingly given the Premier League club hope.
De Jong had stated his desire to remain at Barca but the La Liga side were seemingly keen to get him off the books due to his wages.
Laporta's comments will now lead to speculation that United have missed out on the Dutch midfielder.
This comes on the same day that Cristiano Ronaldo is reported to have told the club he wants to leave.
There is hope for Manchester United fans that perhaps Joan Laporta is trying to up Frenkie de Jong's valuation. The Blaugrana have been demanding €85 million (£73.2 million) for the former Ajax star.
With United having reportedly agreed to a £70 million deal to be paid over time, Laporta may be trying to negotiate a higher price for his midfielder.
If not, it will be worrisome for Manchester United, who have dealt with frustration in the current window and are yet to secure a signing. The lack of transfer activity has led to Cristiano Ronaldo's frustrations and missing out on their No.1 target will be a huge blow.
De Jong made 45 appearances for Barca last season, scoring four goals whilst providing five assists. He currently has four years left on his current deal with the Catalonian giants and has been a mainstay in Barcelona's side since arriving from Ajax in 2019.