Xavi hails Frenkie de Jong’s qualities amid ongoing transfer speculation

Barcelona manager Xavi has lauded Frenkie de Jong as a ‘spectacular’ player amid incessant rumours linking him with a departure from Camp Nou.

The Dutchman has been subject of intense transfer speculation this summer, with 90min most recently revealing that Chelsea were the leading race for his signature ahead of Manchester United.

However, the 25-year-old remains a Barcelona player, and Xavi has hailed his ‘leadership’ qualities ahead of his side’s trip to face Real Sociedad in La Liga.

“Frenkie is a spectacular player, with a lot of leadership,” the Barca head coach said. “I see him as an interior, but he can also adapt to playing as a pivot.

“As a full-back? No, I don’t see him there.”

Barca have been active in the transfer market this summer, although they have been unable to register defender Jules Kounde as of yet following his arrival from Sevilla.

Scott SaundersGraeme Bailey & Toby Cudworth bring you Talking Transfers, discussing Erik ten Hag wanting to sign five players before the transfer window closes, and Man Utd’s attitude to selling Cristiano Ronaldo. Available on all audio platforms and the 90min YouTube channel.

If you can’t see the podcast embed, click here to download the episode in full!

Xavi insists the Frenchman is an important part of his plans and insisted that the transfer window should be closed before the start of the domestic season.

“He [Kounde] is 23, and has great experience, good skills,” added the Spaniard. “At Barcelona, you have to show in every match that you are ready, every match is a test.

“I definitely prefer him to play as a centre-back, but in emergency situations, we may change.

“I want to end the transfer period because it is not easy for the players. They have to focus on the matches. For me, the transfer window should be shut before the start of the season.”

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