I never want to leave

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Frenkie de Jong has said he does not want to leave Barcelona in the summer despite pressure from the club to accept offers from Manchester United and Chelsea.

Barca were willing to ease De Jong’s financial woes and agreed a fee with United in the region of €85 million, including add-ons.

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However, speaking for the first time since the transfer window closed, the Netherlands midfielder told ESPN that he has no intention of leaving Camp Nou.

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“Of course it’s quieter now than in the transfer window,” De Jong said ahead of Thursday’s UEFA Nations League game between the Netherlands and Poland.

“But I have to say, for me, it was always clear what I wanted. That’s why I was able to stay calm during that period.”

De Jong agreed to defer the bulk of his salary when he signed a new deal with Barcelona in 2020, meaning the club will pay him more than they did for the remaining four years of his deal, which runs until 2026. Last two years.

That makes De Jong one of Barca’s top earners, but the relationship between player and club has been strained as the club seek a way out of the contract, sending a letter to the player’s camp in July warning of irregularities in the renewal. Signed under the previous group in 2020.

Sources close to the player said the deal was legal and said the letter was intended to pressure De Jong into either accepting a move or reducing his salary.

“There were a lot of rumours, a lot happened,” De Jong added.

“I can’t tell you in detail what happened. Look, sometimes the club has different ideas than I do. Sometimes those ideas clash with each other. But, in principle, it’s always been good.

“Of course, it was different from other transfer periods for me. But like I said: I was calm because I knew from the beginning what I wanted.

“I wanted to stay in Barcelona, ​​my opinion didn’t change. That’s why I stayed calm, because I know what I want.”

De Jong has started four of Barca’s eight games this season, coming on as a substitute in the other four. In the biggest game of the season so far in the Champions League against Bayern Munich, he was left on the bench in favor of Sergio Busquets, Petri and Xavi.

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