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Frenkie de Jong opens up on relationship with Barcelona manager Xavi

Frenkie de Jong has insisted he portions no blame on Xavi for trying to force him out of Barcelona in the summer.

The Dutch midfielder’s proposed move to Manchester United stole headlines with La Blaugrana going as far as agreeing a fee with United for De Jong’s transfer, but a move never materialised with him intent on staying at the club.

De Jong endured a slow start to the season, unable to break into the first XI with many suspecting that manager Xavi does not see him as a key part to his plans, but played all 90 minutes in each of Barcelona’s final four La Liga fixtures before the World Cup break.

But the 25-year-old has spoken on his relationship with the boss, explaining to Telegraaf: “I never got the feeling that Xavi was against me.”

He added: “To the media he said that he was happy with me but that there’s also the financial part of the club.

“I really don’t put the blame on Xavi.”

De Jong’s comments appear to confirm the club’s desire to sell him in the summer when offers came in, with Barcelona’s perilous financial situation well known to the world.

Despite not selling the midfielder, who they bought for some €75m in 2019, Barcelona still managed to carve out an acton-packed window where they bolstered the squad with new signings, activating several economic levers along the way.

United pushed hard to sign the Dutchman, who was one of Erik ten Hag’s transfer priorities, but were resigned to defeat and opted to sign Real Madrid’s Casemiro instead, later in the window.

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