Barcelona head coach Xavi has admitted that he still does not know if Frenkie de Jong will stay at the club this season as the saga surrounding his future continues. Manchester United have been trying to sign the midfielder throughout the summer transfer window, while Chelsea have also recently been linked with his services.
It remains unclear where the Netherlands international will end up and Xavi admits it may take until the final day of the transfer window for his future to become clear.
What did Xavi say about De Jong?
Asked if De Jong could still leave the Camp Nou side this month, the former Blaugrana captain told TV3: “I don't know what will happen with Frenkie de Jong. Until August 31 anything can happen.
“He knows what I think and what the club want and need. Of course I'm counting on him, he's a great player.”
Laporta wants De Jong stay
Barcelona are said to be open to selling De Jong because they need to lower their salary expenses and bring in more money amid their ongoing financial struggles.
However, president Joan Laporta has insisted throughout the transfer window that he wants the 25-year-old to remain at the Catalan club.
He reiterated that stance on Sunday, saying: “Frenkie de Jong is a Barcelona player of great quality and we want him to stay. With him and his team-mates, we have a very powerful midfield.
“He has offers, but we want him to stay and he wants to stay too.”
Will De Jong leave Barcelona?
Despite the player and club's insistence that he will not make a move this year, speculation about De Jong's future continues to circulate.
United have been leading the charge to land him since the end of last season, but they are starting to look at alternatives in case they are unable to convince him to move to Old Trafford.
GOAL understands that Napoli star Fabian Ruiz is the current leading candidate for the Red Devils should they decide to give up on bringing De Jong to the Premier League.
Meanwhile, Chelsea have become involved in the pursuit to sign the ex-Ajax star, according to recent reports, as they look to strengthen under new co-owner Todd Boehly.
De Jong has said that he does not want to leave Barca just yet, citing them as his "dream club" despite their disappointing performances in recent years.
However, the player is also thought to be owed millions in deferred wages by the club, with some reports stating they will have to pay him around €17m (£14m/$17m), which may be another factor in his refusal to leave.