Exclusive: Fabrizio Romano on Man United’s bid for Barcelona star as he clarifies president’s transfer claim

Barcelona president Joan Laporta has spoken publicly about rejecting transfer bids for some big-name players, and Fabrizio Romano expects he may have been referring to Frenkie de Jong as one of them, with Manchester United having bid for him in recent years.

Speaking exclusively to CaughtOffside for his latest Daily Briefing column, Romano clarified what Laporta may have meant by his recent claims, with the Barca chief perhaps referring to a Man Utd approach for De Jong that was not necessarily that recent.

The Netherlands international is now clearly a key player for Barcelona, but there was some uncertainty about his future at one point, with the Red Devils known to have been keen to snap him up as part of Erik ten Hag’s rebuild at Old Trafford.

It perhaps seems unlikely that United will be trying that again any time soon, but Romano has once again confirmed that De Jong was firmly on their radar.

Frenkie de Jong of Barcelona

De Jong transfer: Man Utd bid for the Barcelona midfielder in the past

“Joan Laporta will have raised some eyebrows with comments made in an interview, with the Barcelona president saying the club said no to a proposal worth €200m for Lamine Yamal. My sources have confirmed that the club that approached Barca for Yamal was Paris Saint-Germain – there is interest from the French giants, but at the moment I don’t have confirmation of an official or formal proposal,” Romano said.

“Laporta also mentioned other players attracting interest and I’m sure he is referring to recent years as Man United bid for Frenkie de Jong years ago, and there was also interest from the Premier League for Gavi, and Bayern wanted Ronald Araujo in January.

“But Barca’s plan is very clear: they don’t want to sell their key players. The message is very clear and of course it always depends on players’ decisions, but it’s very quiet so far.”

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