Barccelona president Joan Laporta seems to have done a u-turn over the sale of Frenkie de Jong to Manchester United.
Barcelona were widely reported to be almost pushing De Jong out of the door this summer as they aim to balance their books amidst a financial crisis that has reached epic proportions.
But, as quoted by reporter Reshad Raman, Laporta has now said he will do everything in his power to get the 25 year old to stay.
“I’m going to do everything I can in my power so that Frenkie stays here, but there’s also a salary issue and that would have to be adjusted,” Laporta said as per Raman’s tweet.
“Frenkie is considered as one of the best midfielders in the world by all the experts. We are happy to have him.”
“There are clubs that want him, not just United. We have no intention of selling him, he wants to stay.”
❗️Laporta: “I'm going to do everything I can in my power so that Frenkie stays here, but there’s also a salary issue and that would have to be adjusted” #Transfers 🇳🇱
— Reshad Rahman ✆ (@ReshadRahman_) July 2, 2022
It’s fighting talk from the president, who is arguably still drunk on Thursday’s injection of €200 million into the club’s coffers as a result of the sale of TV rights.
However, there are two big provisos to this bravado, one that he states and one that he doesn’t.
First of all, as he says, due to the salary capping limitations placed on the club, De Jong’s huge salary would have to be massively reduced to fit into the allowed parameters. This is the same issue that has caused Ousmane Dembélé to leave the club this week.
What makes this even worse for De Jong is that there was reportedly a regular increase built into his salary, so it would be going in the opposite direction.
Barcelona cannot register the new players they have acquired or are about to acquire on free transfers, such as Franck Kessie and Andreas Christensen, unless they ditch some salaries off the payroll.
De Jong’s is among the biggest.
The other issue – the one Laporta fails to mention – is that another restriction placed on the club is that they are only allowed to spend a third on transfers as they make in sales.
Given that they are furiously bidding on players such as Robert Lewandowski, Raphinha and Bernado Silva, they surely understand that players will need to be sold to fulfil even one of those ambitions.
Laporta’s words should therefore be taken with a slight pinch of salt, an attempt to save face and show a swan-like tranquility whilst his legs continue to paddle furiously below the surface.