Manchester United have been dealt a blow in their long-running pursuit of Frenkie de Jong after Barcelona president Joan Laporta insisted the midfielder isn’t for sale.
The Netherlands international is United’s top target in the summer transfer window, and negotiations have been ongoing between the clubs for weeks.
Recent reports said that a deal worth £56.2m plus add-ons had been agreed (opens in new tab), with personal terms still needing to be worked out.
However, Laporta threw a spanner in the works when asked about the move.
“There are many clubs that want him, not just Man United. We have no intention of selling him, he wants to stay,” Laporta said, as reported by Fabrizio Romano. (opens in new tab)
He added: “I'm going to do everything to keep Frenkie, but there’s also a salary issue and that would have to be adjusted”.
United are yet to complete a signing this summer, and Chelsea are considering joining the race for De Jong as protracted talks drag on.
Things were made worse for the Old Trafford club when news broke on Saturday that Cristiano Ronaldo has asked to be allowed to leave (opens in new tab) if a suitable offer comes in from a team competing in the Champions League.
One deal does look like it’s nearing completion though, as left-back Tyrell Malacia is expected to soon undergo a medical (opens in new tab) and complete his move from Feyenoord.
More Manchester United stories
Frenkie de Jong has been United's top target this summer and the Red Devils are close to agreeing a deal - although they remain willing to walk away if the price isn't right (opens in new tab) and Harry Maguire even came up in talks at one point. (opens in new tab)
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Alasdair Mackenzie is a freelance journalist based in Rome, and a FourFourTwo contributor since 2015. When not pulling on the FFT shirt, he can be found at Reuters, The Times and the i. An Italophile since growing up on a diet of Football Italia on Channel 4, he now counts himself among thousands of fans sharing a passion for Ross County and Lazio.