Barcelona do not have to sell Man Utd target De Jong, claims Laporta

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Barcelona president Joan Laporta has insisted the Blaugrana do not need to sell Manchester United target Frenkie de Jong to ease their financial problems.

Xavi's side announced a two-year extension for Ousmane Dembele on Thursday, having already signed Andreas Christensen and Franck Kessie.

Raphinha became the next signing of the transfer window for Barca on Friday, joining from Leeds United in a deal reportedly worth up to €67million (£56.6m).

It has also been reported that Barca will push ahead with their attempts to sign Bayern Munich star Robert Lewandowski over the coming days.

While Barca continue to bring in new faces, the Blaugrana are unable to register their signings as they battle financial fair play regulations.

It has been repeatedly suggested the LaLiga club must cash in on assets to ease those issues, with De Jong among the favourites to depart.

Earlier this week, United and Barcelona reportedly struck a deal worth £63m (€75m), with a further £8.5m (€10m) in add-ons also possible.

Yet De Jong apparently remains eager to stay at Camp Nou, and Laporta has now suggested there is actually no requirement on Barca's part to sell the midfielder.

"It's not true that we are forced to sell Frenkie de Jong, this is not correct," Laporta said as Raphinha was welcomed at a news conference.

"Frenkie's trip to the United States [on the pre-season tour] will be decided by Xavi."

De Jong's ability to carry the ball would be a huge boost to United's midfield
De Jong's ability to carry the ball would be a huge boost to United's midfield

Yet Barcelona director Mateu Alemany seemed to contradict Laporta's claims.

"Frenkie is a very important player and we count on him. But we know La Liga's Fair Play tells us to sell player," Alemany said shortly after Laporta at the same media conference.

"I can't say more [on Frenkie deal and Man Utd]."

Ten Hag will hope to partner De Jong with Christian Eriksen in midfield after United confirmed the signing of the Denmark international on a three-year deal on Friday.

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