New Barcelona boss Xavi has categorically ruled out midfielder star Frenkie De Jong leaving in the upcoming transfer windows amid Christian Pulisic Chelsea swap deal rumours.
De Jong, 24, has been a key part of a Barcelona team that has failed dramatically so far under now ex-manager Ronald Koeman as club legend Xavi Hernandez looks to get the fallen Catalan giants back on track.
On the pitch, in the two games that the midfield legend has overseen so far, Barca are unbeaten with their latest draw against Benfica somewhat of a disappointment in midweek.
The 24-year-old has started in both the games so far since Xavi came in, demonstrating the Spaniard’s will to keep hold of the ex-Ajax starlet despite recent rumours of a possible exit for the versatile midfielder.
According to a report from El Nacional, Chelsea have presented their demands to La Liga heavyweights Barcelona, who are looking to secure the signing of USMNT star Christian Pulisic from the European Champions.
It is understood that the Blues want either £42million in cash for Pulisic or de Jong in exchange for the injury prone winger and despite Xavi himself reportedly wanting to bring in more attacking options to bolster an injury hit area of the team, it seems as though the £81million man won’t be part of any operation despite the club’s will to offer young sensation Gavi a new contract during these financial troubles.
Speaking ahead of Barcelona’s trip to take on Unai Emery and the Yellow Submarine on Sunday night, the club legend clarified: “Our goal is for Frenkie to be happy here. We desperately need that type of player.
“He is definitely not in the shop window, rather the opposite. The idea is to make him stronger here.”
When probed about the situation again, Barcelona’s legendary number 6 also ruled out a Gavi exit: “We need them [de Jong, Gavi] – they are not for sale at all. Selling them isn’t our idea. Riqui Puig is like another player in our team. We count on him”
Alternatively, the likes of Timo Werner and Edinson Cavani have been touted as other attacking options to supplement the problematic Ansu Fati and Ousmane Dembele situations but as it stands, Pulisic and de Jong will not be going anywhere unless the Blaugrana meet Marina Granovskaia’s requirements in some way.
Even if they do cave in, Thomas Tuchel himself may have a say in what happens to Chelsea’s number 10 with the German previously admitting in the past that he wants to keep the likes of Pulisic and teammate Hakim Ziyech for squad depth reasons.
The current Champions League holders face a congested fixture schedule as Tuchel has gotten his team competing on all fronts with a potential Club World Cup adding even more pressure to the squad size.
With the 23-year-old’s versatility, it seems as though Tuchel himself would want to keep the USMNT international around in the roster.
He said recently: “For me, he [Pulisic] can play in any positions of these [front] three. He can play in the middle as a number nine, as a double striker and he can play as a half winger on the left side or right side.
“He had fantastic matches in Dortmund as a wing-back, so he can also be an option from there if we need to be more offensive.”
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Regardless of what happens to the ex-Borussia Dortmund prospect, Xavi’s admission about the potential swap deal has indirectly made Liverpool the most likely destination if Pulisic was to force a move away from Stamford Bridge in January.
Source by Football London