De Jong: Laporta put me under pressure to leave Barca
Midfielder Frenkie de Jong says he was not bothered that president Joan Laporta wanted him to leave Barcelona.FotMob - 7 months ago
Frenkie de Jong says president Joan Laporta put him under pressure to leave Barcelona but he had no intention of moving.
De Jong was strongly linked with a move to Manchester United during the last transfer window as Barca tried to offload players after splashing out on the likes of Robert Lewandowski, Raphinha and Jules Kounde.
The Netherlands midfielder, who was also said to be a target for Paris Saint-Germain, made it clear he wanted to remain at Camp Nou.
De Jong knew the Catalan giants were eager for him to depart, but he was not affected by so much talk about his future.
He told Ziggo Sport: "I was calm. I decided in May that I wanted to stay. My opinion has never changed during this entire period. I stayed calm.
"But then you know the pressure would start to come...from the newspapers, from the president, from everywhere. But I wanted to stay at Barca so it never bothered me."
Former Ajax man De Jong has made only four starts for Barca this season, but hopes to be included in the side for the Clasico clash at Real Madrid on Sunday.
He added: "I knew that he [Xavi] would play fewer minutes at the beginning of the season. I want to be a starter again. I hope to be against Real Madrid.
"Maybe he [Xavi] has already decided, but normally we don't know until the day of the game.
"Of course we are disappointed after the game against Inter, but we have to change our state of mind. We have to show that we are still a good team."