Much was made about Luuk de Jong when he made the shocking transfer to FC Barcelona last summer, with many questioning his lack of technical quality.
But as we steer towards the final phase of the campaign, the Dutchman has been able to silence his critics with a series of heroic performances, most recently in the win over Levante where the forward netted a last-minute goal to hand his side all three points.
It was de Jong’s sixth goal in La Liga this season, in just 16 appearances. The former Borussia Monchengladbach star has averaged a goal every 96 minutes this season, which is a brilliant return for any backup striker.
In light of his exceptional performances from the bench, Barcelona have made the decision to prolong his stay at Camp Nou for another year, reports Diario SPORT.
Luuk had initially joined Barça on a season-long loan deal. While extending his loan deal would usually be straightforward for a club like Barcelona, the operation has been made trickier due to the player’s expiring contract with parent club Sevilla.
The 31-year-old’s current deal at Ramon Sanchez Pizjuan expires at the end of next season. It means Sevilla are running the risk of losing him for free if they allow the forward to spend another season on loan at Camp Nou.
Los Nervionenses are unlikely to sanction such a move. They are aware of the fact that de Jong’s value has risen significantly due to his performances at Barcelona. And as such, they intend to extend the player’s contract in an attempt to salvage a hefty fee for his loan deal.
Alternatively, Sevilla could look to offload the Dutchman on a permanent deal in the summer.
But it remains to be seen whether Barcelona have any intention of paying any transfer fee for the striker, especially in a summer where they have to offload a bunch of fringe players in order to balance the books