Marc-Andre Ter Stegen Wants Frenkie De Jong At FC Barcelona ‘Forever’, Praises ‘Aggresive’ Gavi

FC Barcelona goalkepeer Marc-Andre ter Stegen has revealed that he hopes midfielder Frenkie de Jong will stay at the club ‘forever’.

In an interview with ESPN, the German international said that his Dutch comrade, with whom he is close friends off the pitch, “brings a lot to the team”.

“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. He is someone that players like Gavi and Pedri, for example, can look up to,” Ter Stegen suggested, before addressing reports that De Jong was set to head to Manchester United in an €80mn ($86mn) transfer last summer.

“I was hoping he would stay because, in the end, this is the type of player I want in my team. Of course, there were many rumours and discussions and whatever, but I am just happy he is here. I don’t want him to leave.”

“I think one day I will put him something here,” Ter Stegen said, while gesturing he would tie De Jong down, “to just keep him here always, forever, and I hope he will be here for [a] long [time].”

As for Gavi, Ter Stegen explained that the competitive 18-year-old voted Europe’s Golden Boy late last year is “as aggressive in training as in matches.”

“He doesn’t care if the guy next to him is two metres tall, he fights for every ball, which is nice to see,” Ter Stegen added. “This is what we need and this is why he is very different from the player types we had before. This is why he is very, very important for the team and for the group.

“It’s also probably a bit about his mentality. He didn’t worry a lot [when promoted to the first team from La Masia] and this is actually what makes him really, really strong because he doesn’t think about the consequences, which is nice. This is what we needed.”

As Barca gear up to take on De Jong’s former suitors United in the Europa League on Thursday, Gavi’s fearless dedication to the cause, De Jong’s vision in midfield, and Ter Stegen’s world class form which has seen him keep 16 clean sheets in La Liga this term will indeed be required.

In regards to De Jong staying at Camp Nou ‘forever’, it would also be wise for president Joan Laporta to arrange a transfer extension beyond 2026 for the Dutchman when the books are better balanced.

With Sergio Busquets 35 this summer, De Jong is the pivot future of the club and will provide ample support for Pedri and Gavi for years to come.

This was seen in the 1-0 win over Villarreal on Sunday in Busquets’ injured absence, as Pedri was able to advance and score the winner while De Jong pulled the strings and helped Barca open up an 11 point lead at the La Liga summit over Real Madrid.