Marc-Andre ter Stegen has opened up on the role he played in Frenkie de Jong spurning interest from Manchester United to stay at Barcelona.
Erik ten Hag heavily pursued De Jong during his first summer as United boss having coached him previously at Ajax.
However, the midfielder ended up staying at Camp Nou and has taken on more responsibility in Xavi’s side this season, with Barça now heavy favourites to win La Liga.
Ahead of Barcelona’s meeting with United in the first leg of the Europa League knockout round play-offs, Ter Stegen spoke to The Times about how he helped convince De Jong to stay at the club.
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“I was hoping he would stay because this is the type of player I want to have in my team,” he said.
“I want to make very clear, when I talked to him I tried to [make him stay]. One day I will just put him in something here [he pretends to tie a rope around a chair leg] to keep him here always. I hope he will be here for a long time.”
Ter Stegen added: “He brings a lot, I have a super high opinion of him but I also expect a lot from him because he has so much talent. He sees and feels football in a different way and this is why he is someone that Gavi and Pedri, for example, can look up to.”