Barcelona have pulled all the levers they can, and now they’ve resorted to legal threats against their own players to somehow balance the €60m shortfall in their books ahead of the registration deadline for the new season (and still complete the signing of Marcos Alonso as well).
One of those players is Chelsea target Frenkie De Jong, whose contract is among the four Barca are trying to annul, claiming that the previous ownership engaged in some sort of “criminality” when agreeing them. That deal, signed during the pandemic, extended De Jong’s contract by two years, to 2026, while also deferring €18m of salary from the 2020-21 and 2021-22 seasons. Barca want Frenkie to thus return to his original contract, signed in 2019 and set to expire in 2024.
Unsurprisingly, FDJ’s not willing to play ball — so far, only Barca-lifer Gerard Pique has agreed to be extorted like that — but as the same time, De Jong also wants to stay and play for the club, which is just as baffling. It’s pretty much why his potential move to Manchester United broke down, and while he reportedly would prefer Chelsea ahead of United, he still prefers Barcelona over Chelsea — even with Chelsea apparently willing to not only match his Barca salary but cover his deferred salary as well.
That sort of questionable decision-making should make us think twice, and then think twice more, about any sort of offer, perhaps as high as €70-85m, we might or might not submit for the 25-year-old midfielder.
EXCLUSIVE: Barcelona told Frenkie de Jong on July 15 they have evidence of criminality around contract given by old board + cause for legal action vs all involved. #FCBarcelona asked him to annul deal & revert to previous terms @TheAthleticUK #MUFC #CFC https://t.co/g1at9ZqYL0— David Ornstein (@David_Ornstein) August 8, 2022