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In a surprise of turn of events, Luuk de Jong has been taken off the transfer list at Barcelona.
The former Newcastle United and Borussia Monchengladbach striker signed for the Blaugrana in a season-long loan deal from Sevilla in the summer.
The signing was viewed as a somewhat uninspiring one and summed up the current predicament for Barcelona.
De Jong, with his 6 ft 2 frame and playing style, would not appear to be your typical Barca player.
The Dutchman has made 15 appearances for Barca in all competitions, scoring four goals - a tally which makes him the club's second top scorer.
And according to Mundo Deportivo, manager Xavi Hernandez now sees him as part of his plans at the Nou Camp.
❗️ Luuk has managed to get himself from the transfer list. The player is scoring goals, but not only that. Xavi is very pleased with his attitude and adaptation to the team as well. Xavi now wants him to stay, while an exit will be sought for Memphis Depay instead. [md] pic.twitter.com/pIjoWYp99R— barcacentre (@barcacentre) January 14, 2022
Xavi has been impressed with De Jong's attitude and the way in which he has fitted in to the Catalan club, prompting a change of heart.
Ferran Torres has just been snapped up in a £55 million deal, but De Jong, whose Barca deal was expected to end this month, has proved his worth with three goals in his last three games.
Incredibly, it's said that the club are instead willing to offload compatriot Memphis Depay.
The former Manchester United forward joined on a free transfer in the summer and has scored eight times in 16 games.
But it's thought De Jong is better suited to Xavi's system and so Depay could be on the move, with Juventus said to be keen on him.
Asked about Depay's role prior to the Super Cup loss to Real Madrid, Xavi said: "Right now the same as everyone. Those players who deserve it, have the best performances, this is Barca.
"It’s the players who earn their spot. There’s a lot of competition for places but I’ll put out the player based on who is best not the name they have."
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