We have room’… Barcelona president confident about retaining €70m-rated midfield star

Joan Laporta during the UEFA Champions League 2023/24 round of 16 second leg match between FC Barcelona and SSC Napoli at Estadi Olimpic Lluis Companys on March 12, 2024 in Barcelona, Spain. 

FC Barcelona President Joan Laporta is pictured at the Joan Gamper training ground in Sant Joan Despi, near Barcelona, on September 2, 2023. Barcelona signed Atletico Madrid forward Joao Felix and Manchester City defender Joao Cancelo on loan until the end of the season.

The goal of FC Barcelona remains today to forge a formidable team for the future. La Blaugrana know their future lies in the faith they put in their youth, and that remains their joy. However, the Catalans still need to understand the continuity of many stars.

Beyond those who are untouchables from a sporting perspective in the long term, there are others who allow different opinions to exist. One of those players is Frenkie De Jong, one of Barça’s four captains. In his case, a division within Barcelona exists that is not too sure about his future.

However, if there is one man who is definitely sure about De Jong’s future, it is Joan Laporta. As highlighted by Mundo Deportivo, the Barcelona president clearly stated in an exclusive interview that De Jong’s preference is known already when asked about the Dutchman’s status:

“Yes, he’s delighted. The last thing he would want is to leave Barcelona. He’s told me more than once that he’s delighted here.”

He was then asked further about the contractual situation of the Barcelona star. Given that he has two years left on his contract, the question was answered clearly once again by Laporta as he talked about the confidence he had in achieving a positive outcome:

“We have room. We are delighted with him. I’m not worried about anyone, and if someone wants to leave, we cannot go against a player’s will. But I believe that everyone wants to stay, and we want everyone we have to stay.”

“We don’t want anyone to leave because no team in history has been a one-day wonder. The teams that have won have had a period of consolidation and maturation. This team is having it with very young people, and it will happen to us with the previous stage. We have players who will last for many years, all of whom we are talking about.”

“We have to prioritize that the team as a whole is strong. And there are some maximums or principles that you cannot transgress because if you bring in someone who earns 20 times more than the one who earns the most now, it would be a mistake. And we would enter an absurd pyramid.”

Beyond this season, strategic players like Lamine Yamal and Pau Cubarsi are already guarantees. However, due to their rather fragile financial situation, some unwanted sales are not yet out of the picture. That is where De Jong is frequently pointed out as an option, but one that does not seem to entice the Barcelona president.

For now, the goal remains to focus on La Liga and the UEFA Champions League. The latter offers Barcelona a chance at silverware that is dependent solely on their own performances, and they must thus make the most of it.

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