Barcelona closed out their preseason tour of the United States of America with a 2-0 victory over New York Red Bulls on Saturday night, finishing their trip well.
Manager Xavi Hernandez will be pleased with how the tour is gone for the most part, perhaps save the extenuating circumstances. Due to a problem with his visa, Xavi had to join the team four days late. In addition, several training sessions had to be cancelled due to high temperatures.
While the incoming signings will also please him, one large issue remains unresolved. Rumours have swirled that Barcelona want to sell Frenkie de Jong. Asked about this after the match, Xavi could not give any guarantees.
“I don’t know if he’s going to stay. There is still time and many things can still happen. At the moment he forms part of the team, as with everyone else who is here.”
Speaking to Sport, Xavi praised de Jong’s attitude too. The Dutchman returned to midfield for the first time this preseason, having been at centre-back during the previous matches. Xavi denied that was a way of sending a message to de Jong that he was surplus to requirements.
“Playing at centre-back in the other matches was not a signal for him to leave. I don’t need to send signals on the pitch, I can speak directly with my footballers.”
Little doubt, de Jong’s future remains the biggest issue to be resolved at Can Barca this summer. With La Liga kicking off in 13 days, Xavi will no doubt be keen to avoid it distracting from the football.