Frenkie de Jong has a "strong possibility" of staying at Barcelona despite intense interest from Manchester United, according to Joan Laporta. 

United have been chasing the Barca midfielder since hiring his former Ajax coach Erik ten Hag as their new manager, but De Jong is understood not to be keen on missing out on Champions League football by making the switch. 

The Netherlands international is said to be owed €17million in deferred wages and being asked to sign a new contract with a salary reduction of around 40 per cent. 

Selling De Jong would significantly improve Barcelona's hopes of successfully registering new arrivals like Robert Lewandowski, Raphinha and Jules Kounde and making further moves in the market. 

However, Laporta suggested the most likely outcome is that De Jong will stay put – even if he cannot be tied down to a new contract on reduced terms. 

"The first thing to say is we want Frenkie to stay at Barcelona. We love the player and him as a human being. I want him to stay at Barcelona. He's a high-quality player and a good guy. I also know that he wants to stay," Laporta told CBS. 

"In football, you never know. I can't say categorically [he won't join United]. It all depends on the different parties. But in principle, I can say there is a strong possibility he stays, and I can say as president I will do my best for him to stay at Barcelona. 

"All we are doing with Frenkie is the same as the rest of the squad. The signings coming in have adjusted their salary to the new structure. But Frenkie has a contract and we respect that. We can't force him to take a pay cut. It's his decision. 

"We have explained the situation and are grateful to any players who can help us. It was the same with [Ousmane] Dembele, and I am very grateful to him. And after months of talks, he accepted a renegotiation of his salary and he can be proud of his decision." 

Asked what will happen if De Jong refuses a new deal and stays at Barca, Laporta replied: "Then he will continue. He has a contract. We will respect that decision. For us, he's a Barcelona player. We count on him." 

Barca sold off a percentage of their TV revenue for the next 25 years to help get them out of a financial hole, but their decision to use the funds raised to sign players instead of pay off deferred wages has come in for criticism. However, Laporta feels the approach is justified. 

"The club has a payroll that's 40 per cent higher than our competitors'. We have to reduce this, and it's not easy. But the players we are talking about – who have taken pay cuts – all love Barca.  

"To me, the players we have signed this summer are investments, not expenses. And our existing players understand this perfectly. The new signings adjust their salaries to the new structure that we have created and all we ask is the current squad, where possible, do the same. 

"People outside the club don't have all the information. We have to act this way or the club will probably disappear." 

Bayern Munich's Julian Nagelsmann has no problem with being accused of "ignorance" by Joan Laporta as the Barcelona president "has to represent his club."

Nagelsmann questioned Barca's spending spree after they signed Robert Lewandowski from Bayern this month for a fee that could rise to €50million.

Barca had to let Lionel Messi leave a year ago due to their financial crisis, but they have also signed Raphinha and Jules Kounde for big fees ahead of the 2022-23 season, while bringing in Andreas Christensen and Franck Kessie on free transfers.

Bayern head coach Nagelsmann stated that Barca are "the only club in the world that can buy players without money" after Lewandowski's switch to Spain.

Laporta responded by stating that Nagelsmann was being ignorant, adding that rival clubs should mind their own business.

Questioned about Laporta's comments ahead of Bayern's DFL-Supercup showdown with RB Leipzig, Nagelsmann told reporters: "It's good that he expresses himself, I would do that too.

"It was just a question from a fan point of view. I have no problem with Laporta speaking out, he has to represent his club."

Tottenham boss Antonio Conte also recently suggested Nagelsmann had been "disrespectful" by expressing his admiration for Harry Kane amid reports the Bundesliga champions could make a move for the England captain.

Nagelsmann says he has a good relationship with Conte, however, as he defended himself for giving honest answers.

He said: "I'll always give my opinion in the future. I don't write down all my answers before the press conference.

"It's coming spontaneously, that's maybe not always the smartest thing. I don't have a problem with Conte or Laporta responding back, that's part of the game.

"It wasn't a dramatic statement, I have a good relationship with Conte."

 

Joan Laporta believes Bayern Munich coach Julian Nagelsmann showed "ignorance" by expressing his bemusement over Barcelona's spending spree.

Barca this month signed Bayern's prolific striker Robert Lewandowski for a fee that is said to rise up to €50million and also brought Raphinha to Camp Nou in a big-money move from Leeds United.

The Catalan giants have also agreed a deal to sign Jules Kounde from Sevilla for a reported €55m, while Franck Kessie and Andreas Christensen arrived as free agents.

Barcelona could not afford to keep Lionel Messi a year ago due to a financial crisis at the club, but in recent months they have sold 25 per cent of the club's television rights for the next 25 years and secured a hugely lucrative sponsorship deal with Spotify.

Nagelsmann stated that Barca are "the only club in the world that can buy players without money" after Lewandowski's departure.

Barca president Laporta, however, says Nagelsmann should get his facts right.

He told reporters: "What I would ask is that you look at your current account, they have received significant money from the transfer of Lewandowski. I respect everyone and do not interfere in the economy of other."

Laporta added: "I give them the benefit of the doubt that maybe they thought we couldn't, but they hadn't gauged the strength of Barca and the drive of the new board.

"It is ignorance, lack of information from our club. It is true that we were in a terminal situation, but we left the hospital with the levers and these gentlemen have remained on a page that we have turned."

Laporta thinks rivals club are clearly worried that Barca will be a force again.

"If I don't get involved in what others do, they shouldn't get involved in what we do," he said.

"Perhaps they do it because they think that we will continue to act in the market and they see that we have surpassed them. Let them worry about their own.

He continued: "Barca is competitive again and will compete in all competitions. The weight and strength of a club with more than 122 years of history is very great, its assets are highly valued. 

"It is true that I would have liked not to sell the percentage of television rights, but the situation was complicated and required being brave and making decisions, because football does not wait and our fans, who are very well accustomed, deserve a club like Barca to compete. Our demands are greater than those of others."

Barcelona's infatuation with Lionel Messi has been underlined after president Joan Laporta raised the tantalising idea that the Argentina great could return to end his career with the club.

It is coming up to 12 months since Messi tearfully departed and joined Paris Saint-Germain, breaking a 21-year association with a struggling Barca who could not afford to keep him.

The forward won every trophy available with the Catalan giants and departed as the club's all-time record scorer with 672 goals from 778 appearances. To give that some context, next on the goalscoring list is Cesar Rodriguez, who scored 232 goals for Barcelona.

Laporta spoke in New York on Thursday evening, as Barcelona's US tour neared its end, and addressed the prospect of Messi one day resuming his career with the Blaugrana.

"Leo's phase did not end as we all wanted. It ended up very conditioned by economic issues," said Laporta. "We owe him a moral debt in this regard. We would like the end of his career to be with the Barca shirt and being applauded in all stadiums.

"This is an aspiration. There is nothing spoken. I feel jointly responsible for this ending. I think it is a provisional end, I think we will make this aspiration a reality."

Barca's financial situation in August 2021 meant they could not agree fresh terms that adhered to LaLiga's salary cap rules.

Messi has another year to run on his PSG deal, which will take him through to the age of 36, though that contract also contains the option of a third season in Paris.

Laporta might be pushing the right buttons for those who dream of a Messi comeback in LaLiga, but whether his ambitions are realistic remains to be seen.

Barcelona have sold off a proportion of future TV rights revenue in order to bolster their financial resources, allowing them to embark on a signing spree ahead of the new LaLiga season. They are suddenly moving in a positive direction again, and Laporta will look to make it sustainable.

 

Messi was directly involved in 937 goals for Barcelona, with his most prolific season coming in 2011-12 when he scored 73 in all competitions and assisted a further 28.

That is in stark contrast to the 11 goals and 14 assists managed in 34 games during his first season with PSG.

Diminishing returns are setting in, as would only be expected of a player who reached staggering heights at the peak of his career.

Yet Laporta is determined to have Messi back on board, surely mindful of the commercial opportunities it could bring, and how such a coup would reflect on his presidency.

The more Laporta says it, the more he will be held to his word by a fanbase that was left stunned by the departure of the club's greatest player.

Lionel Messi could return to Barcelona one day, according to club president Joan Laporta, who feels "indebted" to the seven-time Ballon d'Or winner.

Messi's 21-year association with Barcelona, 16 of those spent as part of the senior squad, came to an end last August when he signed for PSG as a free agent.

The Argentina international won every trophy available with Barca and departed as the club's all-time record scorer with 672 goals across 778 appearances.

Last year's departure came as a huge shock at the time, with the Catalan giants' financial situation meaning they could not agree fresh terms that adhered to LaLiga's salary cap rules.

Messi has another year to run on his PSG deal, which will take him through to the age of 36, though that contract contains the option of a third season in Paris.

But Laporta, who was re-elected as president in March 2021, has opened the door for the club great to return to Catalonia one day.

"For Barca, he has possibly been the best player in history, the most efficient, only comparable to Johan Cruyff in the history of Barca," Laporta told ESPN.

"But it had to happen one day. We had to make a decision as a consequence of the legacy we had received, the institution is above players and coaches.

"I don't believe Messi's chapter at Barcelona is over. And I believe it is our responsibility to make sure that chapter is still open, that it hasn't closed.

"To have a moment to do it how it should have been done so that he may have a much more splendid ending than what he had."

 

Messi was directly involved in 937 goals for Barcelona, with his most prolific season coming in 2011-12 when scoring 73 goals in all competitions and assisting a further 28.

That is in stark contrast to the 11 goals and 14 assists managed in 34 games across all competitions during his first season at the Parc des Princes.

As the poster boy of the most successful period in Barca's history, Laporta feels a sense of gratitude towards the superstar forward.

"Do I feel indebted to him? Yes. Morally, as president of Barca, I did what I had to do," Laporta said. "But also as president of Barca and on a personal level, I think I owe him."

Barcelona president Joan Laporta has rubbished reports the club have accepted an offer from Manchester United for midfielder Frenkie de Jong.

Erik ten Hag is keen to reunite with the 25-year-old, whom he managed at Ajax, and United have been pushing to bring the Netherlands international to Old Trafford.

The financial situation of Barcelona has been identified as a reason why the Catalan side may be tempted to sell, with reports stating the club have accepted an offer from the Premier League side but De Jong himself is yet to be persuaded by a move.

Such claims have been refuted by Laporta, who made it clear to ESPN that no bids for De Jong have been accepted.

"Frenkie de Jong is our player, we really like him," he said.

"We received some offers for Frenkie but we didn't accept as of now, as we want to talk with him and know exactly what he wants. We need to clarify some aspects of his situation."

Laporta's stance on De Jong was echoed by Xavi, although the Barcelona coach admitted the financial situation could affect the proceedings heading into the final month of the transfer window.

"I’m not here to send messages. I already spoke with Frenkie, I value him very much. He's a key player, but then there's economic situation and Financial Fair Play," he said following Barcelona's 1-0 pre-season win against Real Madrid.

Xavi also dropped a hint on plans to utilise De Jong's versatility next season, adding: "He can give us a lot also as a centre back."

Barcelona may have to rely on selling commercial revenue streams and broadcasting rights to ease financial difficulties should Frenkie de Jong not join Manchester United.

That is the message from football financial expert Kieran Maguire, who outlined to Stats Perform the issues Barca face in meeting LaLiga financial fair play rulings.

The Blaugrana have already spent over €100million to bring in Raphinha and Robert Lewandowski, alongside free agents Franck Kessie and Andreas Christensen, while renewing Ousmane Dembele's deal.

Barca's dealing have led to question marks from pundits given the club are reportedly €1.3billion in debut, with Bayern Munich boss Julian Nagelsmann pondering how they were able to sign Die Roten's prized asset Lewandowski.

Maguire explained Blaugrana president Joan Laporta has relied on two "economic levers", the first seeing the Catalan giants sell 10 per cent of their LaLiga broadcasting rights to investment firm Sixth Street.

The second method, Maguire said, will involve Barca selling up to 49 per cent of their commercial revenues "in a deal which could be worth a couple of hundred million euros".

Maguire suggested Barca would have up to €130m to spend from those two deals, but added they need De Jong – who has been linked with the Red Devils – to leave to allow the LaLiga giants to raise funds and register their new arrivals.

"They can sign players, but they can't register players, and that's the more important issue," he told Stats Perform. "What Barcelona have to be able to do is to reduce the level of their short-term debt under the LaLiga rules.

"Now, the way they're going to do that is to generate short-term income. First of all in respect of their broadcasting rights, so they've been involved in a deal with Sixth Street from the US and I think they've sold 15 per cent of their broadcasting rights, covering around about the next 20 years.

"It's the equivalent of a payday loan, in which you take money now which comes out of your future revenue. And that's being referred to by Laporta as one of the two economic levers that they have. The other way that they're going to do that is in respect of some of their commercial revenues.

"I think they're willing to give up to 49 per cent of those, again in a deal which could be worth a couple of hundred million euros. You put those two together and that will allow them to spend some money.

"I think now the first deal has gone through with Sixth Street, they should be able to register one player. They were relying on De Jong going in order to be able to register the others.

"If that's not going to work, then expect them to pull the other levers, perhaps quicker in order to generate the revenue that will allow them to register the remaining players."

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

But reports suggested the move for the Netherlands international is being held up by £17m (€20m) worth of deferred salary payments that Barca owes De Jong.

 

"The player is very much in the right here, the player signed a contract with an agreed amount of remuneration," Maguire added. "The club asked the player to make a sacrifice during COVID-19.

"If the club can afford to recruit Lewandowski and recruit Raphinha, and [Ferran] Torres, then those players will not be taking pay cuts.

"So why should De Jong be the fall guy in respect of this? You can understand the player being angry about this situation.

"Effectively, he's being treated as a disposable asset and asked to take a financial sacrifice at the same time."

Maguire insisted Barca's financial difficulties, the reason Lionel Messi had to join Paris Saint-Germain last August, are due to their own incompetency and not solely down the coronavirus pandemic.

"Barcelona have been run very poorly from a financial point of view for a long period," he continued. "They have relied on Messi to be their focus of attention until things started to deteriorate on the back of COVID.

"But COVID was not the only reason why Barcelona are in this problem – and other clubs aren't. So Barcelona are trying to emotionally blackmail some of their players by focusing on the Barcelona brands, its appealed to a fan base.

"And I think there will be resistance from players because they've acted in good faith. Whether they're worth the money they're being paid, that's not for me to decide.

"Nobody forced Barcelona to offer these players the wages that they are currently being paid. So it's up to Barcelona to honour the contracts and they don't appear to be willing to be honourable."

Barcelona are looking to strengthen their defence in the transfer market after club president Joan Laporta claimed they had seen off competition from Chelsea and Paris Saint-Germain for Robert Lewandowski.

The Catalan giants have made several additions as Xavi bids to better last season's second-placed league finish, acquiring Milan midfielder Franck Kessie, Chelsea's Andreas Christensen, Leeds United's Raphinha and Bayern Munich great Lewandowski.

Barca finished some 13 points behind rivals Real Madrid last season, although that represented an achievement of sorts with the Catalan giants having sat ninth in LaLiga when Xavi replaced Ronald Koeman.

In an interview with Hristo Stoichkov for TUDN during Barca's pre-season tour of the United States, Laporta said their business is not yet complete.

"Now we are going to work on the defence," Laporta said. "Xavi has us oriented with a series of players and I hope that the Catalans will have new joys, because the Catalans like Lewandowski.

"This team gives you a guarantee of work, it gives you a guarantee that the players have a profile that is hungry, and we are trying to ensure that they have a better environment. 

"Xavi knows what the fans want, so that when we go to the stadium we have a good time and see that genuine style, playing football with maximum expression and also with goals. 

"Verticality, pressure, possession, control of the ball, all this Xavi wants to implement at its maximum expression."

Barcelona have been strongly linked with moves for Chelsea duo Cesar Azpilicueta and Marcos Alonso after boasting just the sixth-strongest defensive record in LaLiga last season, conceding 38 goals (more than Sevilla, Madrid, Athletic Bilbao, Real Sociedad and Villarreal).

Meanwhile, 12 teams in the Spanish top flight bettered Barca's tally of 11 clean sheets last season.

The signing of Lewandowski, who scored 50 goals in all competitions during his final season with Bundesliga champions Bayern, represents the biggest coup of the transfer window for Barcelona, and Laporta claims they were not the only party pushing hard to sign him.

"We made a first offer and it ended at 45 [million euros], plus five. It's within our possibilities, the player has also adjusted his salary to be within our possibilities and the Catalans are now very happy", Laporta added. 

"We have competed with teams like PSG and Chelsea, and the player wanted to come to Barca. This is what I like.

"As Johan [Cruyff] said, 'I want players who want to come to Barca', and we have to thank him because he has been earning less and enduring great pressure from Bayern, for whom I have great respect.

"Barca needs, like any great team, a goalscoring striker. He is a goalscoring machine gun. 

 

"This player has been awarded the golden boot several times, if you look at his record he guarantees a goal, and every great team needs a striker who guarantees you goals.

"I think that Johan would like Lewandowski – he is a goalscoring striker, different from others we have had.

"Also, with [Ousmane] Dembele, Raphinha, Ferran Torres, who for me is a player who has a goal and has a lot of potential, all of them and Ansu [Fati], [Pierre-Emerick] Aubameyang - it's going well, it's progressing very well, we have a forward [line] with guarantees of putting on a show and scoring goals.

"I want Barca to become a world reference again. In the economic sphere, we are recovering the club, we are achieving it, although we have to work more. 

"But the football side of things does not wait and I think we are doing a good job."

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."

 

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.

Ousmane Dembele believes Barcelona can challenge to win the Champions League after the France winger signed his new two-year contract.

Former Borussia Dortmund star Dembele looked to be heading out of Barcelona in January when acrimonious wrangling over his future led to him being ordered to find a new club.

At the time, Dembele had refused an extension to his deal, which ran through to the end of June, and Barcelona wanted to recoup some of his value rather than see him leave on a free transfer.

Yet it was all hugs and good will on Thursday as 25-year-old Dembele completed the formalities of the contract that will keep him at Barcelona until the end of the 2023-24 season.

Hampered by hamstring and knee trouble during his first five years at the club, Dembele hopes better times lie ahead.

He said: "It's a very happy day. Barca have been my club since I was little, and I hope to help them.

"These have been very difficult years due to injuries, but now it is another time. Staying was always my first option. I told this to the president and coach. It has taken a long time, but we are all happy. I'm looking forward to the season starting.

"The goal is to win titles, the dream is the Champions League, and I'm going to give everything to win this title. I'm going to work hard, and I hope it's a very good year for me and for Barca."

Dembele believes Barcelona are well placed, with Xavi as head coach and Joan Laporta pulling the strings as president, to bring the glory days back to Camp Nou.

He said there were "many people who have helped me a lot" at Barcelona, adding: "Now I have the confidence of everyone, and I am much better."

Laporta will be hoping Dembele delivers on his word as he looks to put the promise into practice, having been a key performer over the second half of last season.

Dembele has made 150 appearances for Barca and came to the fore when setting up 13 goals in the 2021-22 LaLiga campaign – more than any other player in the Spanish top flight.

He was particularly impressive after Xavi summoned him to help the team once it was clear he would not be moving on. Across the LaLiga campaign he made just 15 starts, plus six substitute appearances, so Dembele will be looking to play a fuller role in future.

Laporta, who hopes to close out the signing of Raphinha from Leeds United this week, said the signing of Dembele to new terms marked "a very important day for Barca".

"He has always wanted to stay and the truth is that he has made an effort to enter the new salary scale," Laporta said.

"Dembele has an incomparable talent, very specific. He brings us a lot. Xavi has loved him from the first moment.

"This year is very important, we have to win trophies. I am convinced that we will achieve it. Today is a very emotional day for me. The coach loves you, but so does the club."

After years of silence, former Barcelona presidential candidate Lluis Bassat has spoken out against Joan Laporta and the direction of the financially embattled club.

After losing the 2000 election to Joan Gaspart, Bassat lost again in 2003 to then-outsider Laporta, whose tenure oversaw Barcelona's transformation, before his return in 2021 with the club on the brink of bankruptcy.

While the 80-year-old advertising pioneer concedes his window to be Barcelona's president has closed, he believes the club's financial direction to balance the books has prompted him to come out in public.

Speaking in an interview with La Vanguardia, Bassat believes Barcelona must not try match financial powers like Paris Saint-Germain and Manchester City at the expense of their identity.

"One of the things that makes Barca special is that it is owned by its members and I would not lose this for the world," he said. "It scares me that mortgaging the club in funds like Goldman Sachs and companies of this type will one day lead to a conversion of their debt into shares and they will end up being the owners.

"It must be avoided. Football is changing. Clubs with sheikhs and Chinese owners and billionaires. We cannot compete with that, but we must preserve ourselves.

"Its potential is immense and I don't see anyone taking advantage of it. You have to show that Barca has a soul and make it known."

While adding that the club should have done what it could to keep Pep Guardiola and Lionel Messi, Bassat extended his criticism towards Barcelona's philosophical wavering on the pitch, believing it put the club in such a volatile financial predicament.

Though he hopes Barcelona's partnership with Spotify is "transparent", Bassat went on the offensive when asked whether the club should sign Robert Lewandowski, amid reported links to the Bayern Munich star.

"Yes, 10 years ago. Not today, he will be 34 years old," he said. "In these 20 years there have been brilliant moments coinciding with Pep Guardiola's growth, but also terrible moments. Those signings of one hundred and something million for unproven players, players who are nothing to write home about earning €10million net.

"In what profession do you earn that? On the other hand, Messi, our 'super crack', we already had him at La Masia and it hurt me especially that he left Barca. Barca has one thing that none of these clubs have and that has to be multiplied by ten. We have La Masia. Players as extraordinary as Messi come from there.

"It's not about being like Athletic [Bilbao], but thinking in the long term, I would invest in La Masia, turning it into the dream place for all the youth players in the world."

Barcelona have made a bid for Robert Lewandowski but are yet to hear back from Bayern Munich, Joan Laporta has revealed.

Lewandowski emerged as a top target for the Blaugrana towards the end of the 2021-22 season, having enjoyed another outstanding campaign at Bayern.

The forward, who turns 34 next month, scored 50 goals in all competitions to lead all players across Europe's top five leagues.

He also topped the charts in netting once every 80 minutes on average.

Lewandowski has made clear he would be open to a move to Barca, but progress has been slow while the club have wrapped up other signings.

Franck Kessie and Andreas Christensen were presented at Camp Nou on consecutive days this week, with Barcelona president Laporta insisting there would be no further incoming business until the club had addressed their financial situation.

That is not the only reason Lewandowski is not yet a Barca player, though, as Laporta suggested the ball remained in Bayern's court – even if the Bundesliga champions have publicly stated a desire to keep their star man.

"You know we've made an offer for Lewandowski, and we're waiting for Bayern's response," the president said at Christensen's news conference on Thursday.

"I want to thank the player for his gestures to come. [Bayern] must be evaluating the offer, and we are waiting for the answer."

 

Laporta was also again asked about Cristiano Ronaldo, as he had been when appearing alongside Kessie the previous day.

The Barca chief was reluctant to discuss Ronaldo specifically but had not been surprised by links to the wantaway Manchester United forward, who spent nine years at rivals Real Madrid.

"We have the great luck that most players want to come to Barca," Laporta said. "When the possibility opens, they consider it and get excited.

"We have seen this, and we have this great luck – for our history, the players we have had and what we have achieved.

"I don't go into names, I'm talking in general. There are great players who are in big clubs, but when there is the option of Barca, they consider it.

"Barca is still very attractive, and the credibility and illusion have returned. The proof is that players like Christensen want to continue their sporting career at Barca.

"We will return to normal and go into the transfer market with greater guarantees of success."

Alexia Putellas' presence at Spain's matches will motivate them to perform well at the Women's Euros, according to team-mate Patri Guijarro, after the Ballon d'Or winner was ruled out of the tournament.

Barcelona star Putellas, who has scored 27 goals in 100 international appearances, will miss Euro 2022 after suffering an anterior cruciate ligament injury in training on Tuesday.

Putellas' absence is a huge blow for Spain, with the 28-year-old, who top-scored in the Champions League with 11 goals last season, considered one of the best players in the women's game.

But Guijarro, another part of an all-conquering Barcelona team which won all 30 domestic league games in 2021-22, says Putellas simply being present will give Spain a boost.

"We are not going to deny that yesterday it was a really hard day," she said in a media conference. "It hit us, because we know that Alexia is fundamental inside of the pitch, as is shown, but also outside of it. 

"Obviously we will be very close to cheer her up, to give her energy, to motivate her in any sense, but she has been the first one motivating us. 

"She was here today and will be present in our first match. This will give us even more energy to compete and to win. 

"Regarding the roles, as [fellow forward] Mariona [Caldentey] said, we all have to accept our responsibility to try to replace her between all of us, all the good things that she makes, with a plus from everyone."

Spain, who are also without record goalscorer Jennifer Hermoso after she suffered a ligament injury of her own, begin their Group B campaign against Finland on Friday.

Earlier on Wednesday, Barcelona president Joan Laporta used the unveiling of Franck Kessie to wish Putellas well in her recovery.

"She had injured herself, and from here I send all the support from the club, from all the people that love her," he said.

"We want her to recover as soon as possible, and we are all here to help her."

Barcelona have no intention of selling Frenkie de Jong to Manchester United, according to club president Joan Laporta, although he admitted the club's perilous financial situation could create the "need" for a sale.

Meanwhile, Laporta labelled Cristiano Ronaldo's apparent desire to leave United "interesting" but would not be drawn on whether the Blaugrana would target the Portuguese legend.

De Jong, who starred in Erik ten Hag's Ajax side before moving to Barcelona in 2019, has been touted as United's top transfer target since the Dutchman was announced as the club's new boss in April.

While the midfielder expressed his desire to stay at Barcelona in May, the club's need to reduce their wage bill has led to suggestions a sale could still be possible.

Laporta said last week he would do "what is in my power" to keep De Jong but acknowledged the Netherlands international would need to agree to a salary adjustment to remain at Camp Nou.

The Blaugrana president repeated that stance at Wednesday's unveiling of new signing Franck Kessie, saying of De Jong: "He's a Barca player and if we don't have the need, we won't sell him. We don't want to sell him. 

"We know he has offers, but right now we're not selling this player."

 

While Ten Hag appears to see De Jong as the ideal candidate to be the fulcrum of his new United side, it remains to be seen whether Ronaldo will remain at Old Trafford after widespread reports of his desire to leave for a Champions League club emerged last week. 

Ronaldo scored 24 goals in all competitions for United last season, but the club ended the season in sixth place with their lowest-ever Premier League points tally (58).

But Laporta refused to be drawn on whether Barcelona could make a remarkable move for the 37-year-old, who starred in four Champions League triumphs with their historic rivals Real Madrid.

"I had dinner on Monday with [Ronaldo's agent] Jorge Mendes and we talked about the market in general," he added.

"Cristiano? I'm not going to talk about the players who came out of the meeting, but it's always interesting to know how some names are on the market.

"I'm not going to talk about players in one way or another, it could be misunderstood. It doesn't contribute anything to the interests of Barca. We have to respect the players who have contracts with other teams."

 

Meanwhile, Barcelona's need to adjust their finances in order to strengthen Xavi's squad has led to uncertainty over the future of winger Ousmane Dembele, whose contract with the club expired last month.

Dembele made more assists (13) in all competitions than any other Barca player last season, and while Laporta is keen to keep the 2018 World Cup winner, says the 25-year-old is yet to respond to the club's offer.

"We are in a situation of uncertainty. Right now, we still can't sign [him]," he said.

"We are talking to players we are interested in so they can wait for us. Ousmane is not a Barca player, but we have made him an offer.

"He has not accepted our proposal, but he wants to continue talking. We will continue talking, at least for now. 

"Salary balance is necessary for the team to be competitive. All discussions are framed in this context. We're not in a hurry, although we're aware that we can't delay. Let no one expect us not to act with the utmost prudence".

Five-time Ballon d'Or winner Cristiano Ronaldo wants to leave Manchester United and is willing to make some allowances to secure the move.

Reports of Ronaldo's transfer request emerged over the weekend, although United are said to be holding firm in their desire to keep the superstar.

That has not stopped the rumours around a potential destination for the Portugal great, though, and he is doing all he can to get the move he wants.

TOP STORY – RONALDO WILLING TO TAKE PAY CUT

The Independent reports Ronaldo is willing to take a "considerable" pay cut in order to move to a Champions League contender.

The forward's desire to win another European crown was widely cited as key to his decision to push for a departure from United, and the report suggests the player is hopeful a reduced salary could entice leading clubs.

Chelsea, Bayern Munich and Paris Saint-Germain, who employ great rival Lionel Messi, are listed as potential suitors.

The Athletic also again reports Chelsea's interest following talk of a meeting between Ronaldo's agent Jorge Mendes and new Stamford Bridge owner Todd Boehly earlier in the close-season.

The Sun says Chelsea coach Thomas Tuchel is reluctant to agree to such a transfer, though, while AS claims Mendes has also met with Barcelona president Joan Laporta.

ROUND-UP

– Corriere dello Sport claims Bayern Munich are looking to bring in Napoli striker Victor Osimhen for a fee in the vicinity of €100million if Robert Lewandowski is to leave.

– According to Fabrizio Romano, Tottenham have agreed to sign 27-year-old Barcelona centre-back Clement Lenglet for a fee of £17.2m.

– The Sun is reporting Arsenal have made a £47m bid for 27-year-old Lazio midfielder Sergej Milinkovic-Savic.

– After loaning Romelu Lukaku to Inter, Chelsea are also weighing up a potential loan move for Hakim Ziyech to Milan, according to The Athletic.

– The Mirror claims United representatives have met with Ajax to discuss a £39.6m offer for defender Lisandro Martinez.

© 2023 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.