Xavi denies 'playing games' with de Jong after playing him in defence

Xavi dismisses claims he is ‘playing games’ with Frenkie de Jong after playing the midfielder out of position against Real Madrid, as he hints that a move away is still possible for the Dutchman

  • Frenkie de Jong has not started either of Barcelona’s pre-season friendlies
  • He played as a centre back after coming on as a substitute against Real Madrid
  • Barca boss Xavi denied ‘playing games’ with the Dutch midfielder
  • He also hinted that the ‘economic situation’ may impact de Jong’s future 

Barcelona manager Xavi has denied ‘sending messages’ to Frenkie de Jong after playing the midfielder out of position amid uncertainty over his future.

De Jong has started neither of Barcelona’s pre-season clashes in America and was asked to play as a centre back after coming on as a substitute in their recent win over Real Madrid.

Some fans have suggested playing the Dutchman out of position was an attempt from Xavi to persuade his midfielder to complete his move to Manchester United. 

Frenkie de Jong played at centre back after coming on as a substitute against Real Madrid

The manager has dismissed this. He said: ‘Frenkie? I don’t send messages. I spoke with him. I like him a lot,’ he said. ‘For me, he is a fundamental footballer but there is also the economic situation and fair play. 

‘He can bring us a lot as a centre-back. I like him in that position.’

De Jong has been linked with a move to Old Trafford for months but nothing has been confirmed despite Erik ten Hag being desperate to capture the 25-year-old’s signature.

He would be a key player in a side that is lacking depth in central midfield, although they have also been linked with Ruben Neves and Youri Tielemans.

Barcelona’s debt issues mean they are in need of his transfer fee, which would likely be around £60 million, but they do still owe the midfielder a series of large payments.

Despite the financial issues they face, Barcelona have continued to spend big by bringing in Robert Lewandowski for £42.5m and Raphinha for £49m.




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