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Frenkie de Jong plays down Man Utd links with firm post-El Clasico statement

Barcelona ace Frenkie de Jong has reiterated his ambition to stay at the Spotify Camp Nou, dashing Manchester United’s hopes of taking him to England this summer.

The Dutch midfielder excelled on Sunday night as Xavi Hernandez’s side claimed a last-gasp 2-1 home win over Real Madrid to likely waltz away with a first La Liga title since 2019.

In the aftermath, de Jong insisted his situation at the club has ‘improved’ since last summer when the Red Devils frantically tried to lure him away from Spain but to no avail.

“From the summer until now, it has improved for me here – I play almost every game, it makes me feel so satisfied,” he told ZiggoSport, as relayed by Fabrizio Romano.

After experiencing a troublesome start to his La Liga adventure, De Jong has gone from strength to strength under Xavi this season, developing into a key midfield component at Camp Nou.

He put in a midfield masterclass in El Clasico, painting his 20th La Liga start of the season with flying colours as Barcelona secured a potentially season-defining win courtesy of Franck Kessie’s stoppage-time goal.

Not long ago, De Jong’s future in Catalunya was up in the air, with Man Utd naming him a top midfield target last summer, only to shift their attention towards Casemiro later on.

Instead of moving to Old Trafford, the 25-year-old remained at Barcelona and has earned an indispensable status in Xavi’s set-up throughout the 2022/23 campaign.

De Jong deserves much of the credit for Barcelona’s imperious title push this term and the fact they’re now 12 points clear of second-placed Madrid.

He has forged a formidable midfield partnership with the veteran Sergio Busquets in the double-pivot, helping Barca tick over in the absence of young gun Pedri.

But the Netherlands international’s newly-discovered happiness at the Blaugrana likely means Man United will have to look elsewhere to bolster their midfield department in the summer.

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