Frenkie de Jong has confirmed that he never wanted to leave Barcelona during the summer despite the club wanting to sell him and strong interest from both Manchester United and Chelsea.
The state of Barcelona’s finances dominated the market, with the Catalans forced to offload players to balance the books and make it possible to register a new look squad. De Jong was an obviously saleable asset, even if head coach Xavi maintained he was still an ‘important’ player.
United even agreed an €85m (£74m) fee with Barcelona, although the proposed deal was critically stalled by complications regarding deferred wages still owed to the player. Old Trafford officials still remained confident of completing the transfer regardless, but it never made it over the line.