According to sources, Frenkie de Jong has told his Barcelona teammates that there is no way he will leave Camp Nou for Manchester United, as the Spanish club considers trying to push him out.
After lengthy negotiations with Barcelona, the two clubs have eventually agreed on a deal of €85 million (£72 million), with £63 million paid up front and the balance in bonuses.
However, settling on a cost looks to have been the easy part, as De Jong appears to be completely unimpressed by a move to Old Trafford.
The Netherlands international is content and established in Catalunya, and he has even instructed his agent to inform United CEO Richard Arnold and football director John Murtough that his chase is over.
Barcelona, on the other hand, is putting pressure on De Jong to depart because his sale is now regarded as required in order to comply with financial fair play standards and register their new signings.
Barcelona executives met with the 25-year-old on Thursday and outlined their position, stressing that accepting United’s offer is critical to the club’s finances.
But he is still refusing to leave, according to Spanish daily Sport, who claims he informed his Barcelona teammates, ‘It is impossible for me to leave.’ ‘How am I going to get out of Barcelona?’
Xavi is still a great fan of De Jong, and the rest of the squad has noted that they are still friendly around the training camp, with the Spanish coach still expressing affection to his midfielder.
However, Xavi understands the financial ramifications of not selling De Jong, with Ousmane Dembele – who recently signed a contract extension – and new acquisition Raphinha unable to join with La Liga until they have freed up more finances and reduced their pay bill.
As a result, Barcelona are considering banning De Jong from their forthcoming pre-season tour of the United States in one final attempt to persuade him to quit the club and accept United’s offer.