Barcelona sporting director Jordi Cruyff was in Qatar lately to keep a close eye on the World Cup matches. Shortly after returning to Spain, he sat down with Mundo Deportivo to reveal updates on the futures of several Barcelona stars.
Cruyff has notably ruled out the possibility of a January exit of Franck Kessie. “There is no plan for it to come out. Neither on their part nor on our part, despite the fact that I have read information,” he said.
Cruyff went on to talk about the future of Alejandro Balde, suggesting that the club will soon come up with a contract extension. “It’s only a matter of time to finish Balde’s renewal. We’ve been in talks for quite some time and we trust that he will be a club player for many years,” he said.
He refused to answer the question on Jordi Alba’s future, adding, “We are not yet on this topic. Today the squads are no longer starting eleven but you have different profiles of full-backs, central defenders, midfielders, attackers, and wingers. They are all a little different and the coach needs to have the best possible squad at his disposal.”
When asked about Nico’s future, Cryuff further added, “There is a one-year loan and initially that is the idea. There have been no changes to this day.”
Cryuff went on to talk about Xavi, especially amid speculations over his future earlier in the season. “Renew Xavi? He knows Barça better than any of us and he has also said ‘calm down’, that we are halfway through the season. And when they have to talk, they’ll talk,” he said.
Another player Cruyff talked about is Frenkie de Jong. He answered questions on potentially lowering the midfielder’s salary while offering more clarity on his situation in the summer transfer window.
“It is a difficult subject because, in the end, it is a personal decision of each player. It is very easy to give an opinion when we are third parties but when you are the main party. We talk but it is not a matter of speaking publicly on a day-to-day basis,” he said on salary reduction.
“I have not read one hundred percent such a clear sentence. I read that he was upset with how it had gone,” he said when asked about de Jong saying his contract details were leaked by the club.
“What happened with De Jong was all prior to the ‘levers’ and at the club the financial and ‘fair play’ situation often forces you to think in a way that is not always preferable to football. Now they love him and the club turns the page,” he added.
Cruyff was rather coy when asked whether the club would think about extending the future fo De Jong. “They are very personal issues. Furthermore, the player is not that we now think he is better than six months or a year ago, he has always been a good player and only good players have offers and interest from big teams.”
The Barcelona sporting director talked about Ousmane Dembele as well, blaming the media for fueling speculations over his future in the summer. “I like it. In the Dembélé case I will be a journalist. Who made the mess? The rumor mill. Did he activate it? No. He always said that he wanted to stay.”
“According to the press, Dembélé had signed with two hundred different clubs and in the end the player always communicated that his wish was to stay at Barça. It doesn’t make sense to reactivate the rumor mill with him,” he added.
Finally, Cruyff offered his thoughts on the future of Sergio Busquets. The Dutchman hailed the midfielder for his years of service, and left it up to the player to take a call on his future.
“He is a super special player, a ‘one club man’, who has spent his whole life in a club and there comes a time when, with such a special player, the first thing you have is respect for the how and when of the decision you want to make. Obviously, the club is in permanent contact with him and with his agents, which is normal, and when the time comes, a joint decision will be made,” he said.
“But the club does not have the decision, the player has the right to decide and also the contract ends,” he added. Cruyff’s comments come in the midst of speculations that suggest Xavi wants to extend the contract of the veteran midfielder, whose contract at Barça expires at the end of the season.