Barcelona boss Xavi makes Frenkie de Jong claim amid Manchester United transfer interest

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Barcelona boss Xavi makes Frenkie de Jong claim amid Manchester United transfer interest

Barcelona head coach Xavi has hailed Frenkie de Jong as "one of the best midfielders in the world" amid Manchester United's ongoing interest in the Netherlands international. United , who will be looking to wrap up their place in the quarter-finals of the Europa League when they face Real Betis in the second-leg of their round-of-16 tie on Thursday evening, were desperate to sign De Jong last summer. They agreed a deal with Barcelona at the end of June , only for it to collapse because of a dispute over unpaid wages. United manager Erik ten Hag had pinpointed the former Ajax star as his preferred choice to strengthen United's midfield ahead of the start of this season and he remains on the club's radar. As reported by the Manchester Evening News back in December, United have not ruled out the prospect of a fresh move to sign him this year.

READ MORE: Harry Kane has already told United what they want to hear The Reds want to add a new central midfielder to their ranks this forthcoming summer and De Jong would tick plenty of boxes for the type of midfielder that Ten Hag wants. However, their hopes of bringing the Dutchman to Old Trafford may have taken a further hit because of Xavi's latest admission about the 25-year-old, where he has waxed lyrical about his performances. "He has been at an extraordinary level for months," Xavi said, speaking after Sunday's win over Athletic Bilbao. "He gives us a lot. He breaks lines of pressure, he drives forward.

"He is one of the best midfielders in the world. He's spectacular." De Jong, who joined Barcelona back in the summer of 2019, has been a regular fixture at the Camp Nou this season, racking up 33 appearances in all competitions. He has also chipped in with two goals and one assist. Last week, the midfielder poured cold water on the prospect of a move to United this forthcoming summer, once again emphasising how happy he is in Spain.

He said: "I'm very calm, happy. I want to stay at Barcelona for many more years." READ NEXT: All the latest United news, views and transfer updates United might seek another explanation about Anthony Taylor United can strengthen their midfield for free this summer United confirm they won't appeal Casemiro red card United have a perfect Victor Osimhen alternative

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