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Daily Mirror
Daily Mirror
Colin Millar

Xavi holds agent meeting as Frenkie de Jong's Barcelona future takes fresh twist

Barcelona have ruled out the possibility of midfielder Franck Kessie leaving the club less than six months after his arrival from Milan.

The Catalan club had reportedly been considering cashing in on the Ivorian midfielder this January amid their delicate financial situation. However, club management held a meeting with Kessie's agent George Atangana this week and Xavi Hernandez personally met with the player to reassure him that his future was at the Camp Nou.

Kessie’s continuity at the Blaugrana is directly related to the future of Frenkie de Jong, as Gavi, Pedri and Sergio Busquets are already the first-choice midfield trio at the Camp Nou. Busquets is likely to leave the club at the end of his contract in the summer, but Barca will attempt to sign a replacement.

The Ivorian international moved to the Blaugrana as a free agent following the expiration of his contract with Milan, but he has started just twice in La Liga and has not been given a sustained run of matches by boss Xavi. However, the coach has appeared to signal to the club that he wants the midfielder’s continuity.

As outlined by Diario AS, Kessie looks set to stay at the Camp Nou beyond this January. That is despite the fact that the club need to reduce their wage bill and could have viewed Kessie as an easy way to do this and raise cash through a transfer fee. Barca director Jordi Cruyff has confirmed: “We do not plan to sell Franck Kessie — and the player does not plan to leave either.”

De Jong has no intention of leaving Barca despite being the club’s highest earner and starting just half of their matches across all competitions this season. Manchester United had an initial transfer fee of £56.2million agreed with Barca last summer to sign the Dutch midfield maestro, but the player refused a move.

Franck Kessie has had to watch on from the substitute's bench for most Barcelona games this season (Giuseppe Maffia/NurPhoto via Getty Images)

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De Jong has increasingly been at odds with the club's board including criticising them for leaking his contract details this summer and he is set to refuse Barca’s latest attempt to persuade the midfielder to reduce his salary.

As reported by Sport, the club have made a fresh approach to the former Ajax ace to request once again that he reduces his salary – but that attempt is unlikely to be successful. Barcelona need to reduce their current salary outgoings of €600million to €400m for next season, in order to register new players and any new contracts.

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