Barcelona coach Ernesto Valverde rebukes Pep Guardiola over Frenkie De Jong pursuit

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Barcelona coach Ernesto Valverde has criticised Pep Guardiola after new Barca signing Frenkie de Jong revealed the Manchester City boss had met him personally in an attempt to convince him to move to the Etihad

Ernesto Valverde has hit out at Pep Guardiola after Barcelona-bound Frenkie De Jong claimed to have spoken to the Manchester City boss about a transfer to the Etihad Stadium.

Ajax agreed a deal worth up to €86m (£74.5m) with Barcelona earlier this week that will see the 21-year-old midfielder move to the Nou Camp in July.

De Jong told Dutch broadcaster NOS he had spurned interest from French champions Paris Saint Germain, adding "I also spoke with Guardiola about a move to Man City."

De Jong's revelation has infuriated Valverde, who lashed out at former Barcelona boss Guardiola for appearing to act improperly.

"You can't call a player who already has a contract," Valverde said.

Image: Ernesto Valverde indicated he is unhappy with Guardiola's conduct

"It isn't my code of conduct to call a player who is under contract with another club. If I do it, I won't say it. If the player says it then it is his problem.

"I have nothing to say about it. Everybody has a different way of doing things. This club acts in a certain way. And I have nothing to say about it."

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Pep Guardiola reacts after Virgil van Dijk appeared to handle the ball in the area
Image: Guardiola has been after a central midfielder since the summer

Guardiola has been targeting a midfield signing since last summer when Manchester City failed to land Italy international Jorginho, who opted to join Chelsea instead.

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