Barcelona’s Dutch duo Frenkie de Jong and Memphis Depay have both been linked with summer moves away from the club despite being key players for the Catalan giants.
Coach Xavi Hernandez has now offered his thoughts and has had some strong words for Barcelona president Joan Laporta, as reported by Javier Miguel at Diario AS. Xavi has told Laporta, “I’m counting on Frenkie and Memphis for next year.”
The former midfielder “considers the two players to be very important pieces for his project” and does not want to see either leave. However, Xavi is aware of the club’s delicate financial situation which means sales can’t be ruled out.
Yet Xavi would only accept either player leaving if a “totally irresistible” arrives. For De Jong that would mean a bid of at least €80 million, while Barcelona would only sell Memphis if a team offered €30m.
Barcelona will also have to offer Memphis a new contact if he does remain at the Camp Nou this summer. The Dutchman’s current deal expires in 2023 which means he could leave for free at the end of next season if he does not renew.
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Barcelona Offered De Jong Advice
De Jong has been linked with a big-money move to Manchester United ahead of the summer transfer window, a deal former Barcelona midfielder Ronald de Boer says does not make footballing sense.
The Dutchman told Cope he could only understand Barca selling De Jong if it was for financial reasons because he believes the 25-year-old is crucial to the team.
“I could understand it if it’s financial, if the club has bad finances, but otherwise I don’t understand it because Frenkie de Jong is a very good player. Barça is now a nervous club, normally they had more patience with the players,” he said. “I think Barcelona needs Frenkie de Jong, he is the future, he is very versatile and if he has the chance, they should keep him.”
De Jong is a virtual ever-present in Xavi’s a team but is also one of the club’s most saleable assets. The club’s financial difficulties plus the emergence of young midfielders Catalans such as Pedri, Nico Gonzalez, and Gavi has also prompted speculation Barca could cash in on De Jong.
Memphis Still Barca’s Top Scorer
Meanwhile, Memphis has had to be patient in the second half of 2021-22 due to injuries and the arrivals of attackers Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, Adama Traore, and Ferran Torres in the January transfer window.
Yet the Netherlands international remains the team’s joint-top scorer, along with Aubameyang, on 13 goals from 35 games in his debut season for the Catalan giants.
Memphis was on target last time out in the win over Celta Vigo and drew praise from manager Xavi after the final whistle at his post-match press conference.
“We’ll see what we can do and what we can’t do for next season,” he said. “Memphis is a leader, he works very well, he makes a difference, he’s a player who can score goals and we must value him.”
The Dutchman has proved to be a useful signing since arriving on a free transfer from Lyon. Barca may struggle to reinforce the squad in the summer, due to their economic situation, which means Memphis could have a big role to play again in 2022-23.
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