Barcelona have reportedly told Frenkie de Jong that they want to rip up his existing contract and revert back to the previous terms he signed in 2019.
De Jong, who is valued at £54 million by Transfermarkt, was given an enormous two-year extension by previous Barca president Josep Maria Bartomeu which is set to net him around £16.8 million this season, as well as a further £21 million next campaign.
But it’s being reported by the Daily Mail that Barca are citing ‘evidence of criminality’ as a reason to invalidate the Dutchman’s mega-deal.
The De Jong saga
This is just the latest in a series of twists and turns that have involved Barca and De Jong this summer.
It’s no secret that the Catalan club are in serious financial trouble, yet they’ve gone ahead and splashed the cash nonetheless this summer, with Robert Lewandowski, Raphinha, Franck Kessie, Andreas Christensen and Jules Kounde all joining for a combined £137 million worth of transfer fees.
That’s not even taking into account their humongous wages and, rather ironically, La Liga won’t even allow Barca to register their new signings until they’ve reduced their existing wage bill by some margin.
So it seems the Blaugrana are going to excessive lengths in order to meet the demands of the league, starting by either forcing De Jong out the door or demanding he drops his wages.
Preferably it seems they’d rather just get him off the books. However, De Jong’s desire for Champions League football is causing them difficulties in that sense, after a £63 million deal with Man Utd was scuppered last month due to his European demands.
Chelsea do still remain keen, but it’s believed their interest is less concrete than it was a matter of weeks ago.
The situation is also complicated further by the £17 million Barca owe De Jong for wages he’s deferred up until now.
Barca’s latest De Jong demand
Therefore, with De Jong not looking all that likely to pack his bags and exit the city, the Barca board have looked to crank up the pressure on the Dutchman by threatening legal action over his current terms.
According to the Athletic per the Daily Mail, the club wrote to the player on July 15 informing him that they’d found “evidence of criminality on behalf of the parties that signed his renewal” back in 2020.
After which they continued by outlining that, in light of said findings, De Jong should agree to return to his previous terms otherwise they could be in a position to launch criminal proceedings.
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Whats more, the report even suggests that the cub have told De Jong should he refuse a pay-cut and remain at the club, he can expect to be confined to the bench or playing at centre-back.
Honestly… what on earth is happening at Barcelona right now?!