Barcelona chief Deco gives clear statement on Man Utd-linked duo after “lies” claim –
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Barcelona chief Deco gives clear statement on Man Utd-linked duo after “lies” claim



Barcelona sporting director Deco has insisted neither Ronald Araujo nor Frenkie de Jong will be leaving the club this summer.

Both players have been linked with exits as the La Liga side battles increasing financial issues. League chiefs recently reduced Barca’s salary cap to £174.8million, a reduction of more than £56m from what was set earlier this season.

The cap represents the maximum expenditure a club can make throughout the season, factoring in all transactions conducted during the winter. But Barca’s real squad cost this season has been budgeted at £421m.

As they have breached their limit, La Liga rules say Barca must make cuts before signing any more players. That means any saleable assets will likely depart this summer, though Deco has insisted De Jong and Araujo, as well as star striker Robert Lewandowski, will be staying.

“Nothing will happen to them [Araujo and De Jong]. They have a contract and all the big clubs want to keep their best players and these are some of the best,” Deco told Movistar ahead of the hammering of Getafe on Saturday.


“They are important players for the present and for the future. They have earned the right to be here and the respect of the fans and everyone. We know where we want to go and we are counting on them.

“He [Lewandowski] is a world-class reference. He has a great ability to score goals. I have seen very few players as professional and dedicated to football as him. He is a gift for us.”

De Jong himself has played down the reports linking him with a move away this summer. The Dutchman came close to departing in the summer of 2022 when his former Ajax boss Erik ten Hag pushed hard to bring him to Manchester United.

Instead, he remained in Catalonia, though there have been reports that Barca are willing to offload him. Those rumours drew an angry response from the midfielder though, who moved to quash them.

“A lot of stuff that is not true has come out. I can’t understand it, people reporting lies. It’s irritating me a little. For example, [the media] speak a lot about my contract, my salary etc,” he said.

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