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Louis van Gaal sends message to Barcelona stars Frenkie de Jong and Memphis Depay ahead of 2022 FIFA World Cup

Netherlands manager Louis van Gaal has sent a message to two of his star players, Frenkie de Jong and Memphis Depay, who both play for Barcelona.

As per The Mirror, the Netherlands manager has questioned the two Dutch stars’ decision to stay at the Catalan club despite interest from elsewhere.

Both De Jong and Depay, who are key players for their country, have fallen down the pecking order at Barcelona this term.

De Jong has made four starts for the Blaugrana this campaign while coming off the bench on four occasions. Depay, on the other hand, has started just two games and has been called upon from the bench on one occasion.

Louis van Gaal has made it abundantly clear that he wanted the duo to play more often at club level. The former Barca manager has appeared to suggest that he would have been happier if the two players departed Camp Nou this summer.

Van Gaal said at a press conference on Tuesday, as quoted by The Mirror:

“It’s true that many players called me in the transfer window. But I always ended every conversation with: ‘This is my advice, but you make your own decision.’ I am happy with the outcome. But I would be happier if Frenkie and Memphis would play more than they are now.”

The Netherlands will be up against Poland and Belgium in the UEFA Nations League this month. These will be the Oranje’s final matches ahead of the World Cup in Qatar where they have been drawn in Group A alongside hosts Qatar, Senegal and Ecuador.

According to The Mirror, Frenkie de Jong opted to stay at Barcelona despite interest from Manchester United, who are managed by his former Ajax boss Erik ten Hag. As per Barca Universal, Depay was also close to leaving the Spanish giants but his move to Juventus collapsed after the Serie A outfit signed Arkadiusz Milik on loan.

Barcelona have strong competition for places across every position

Barcelona have invested heavily during the summer transfer window to reclaim their lost glory in Spain and Europe. Manager Xavi Hernandez has been backed well by club president Joan Laporta despite the club’s well-documented financial struggles.

Barcelona now have a squad that is both rich in quality as well as numbers. De Jong will have to compete with the likes of Sergio Busquets, Pedri, Gavi Franck Kessie, and Sergi Roberto for minutes on the pitch.

Meanwhile, Depay will have to move ahead of Robert Lewandowski, Raphina, and Ousmane Dembele in the pecking order.

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