Frenkie de Jong has been the name on everybody’s lips this summer.
Close your eyes, swing a stick and you’re guaranteed to hit a football fan talking about Barcelona‘s midfielder who has been linked with just about every European club with a cent down the back of their sofa these past few weeks.
Now, obviously, the frontrunners have seemingly always been Manchester United as Erik ten Hag seeks a reunion with his former Ajax star that could finally end the club’s woes in central midfield.
Barcelona’s financial mess
However, Chelsea have also been bounded about as a potential option for De Jong with multiple reports claiming that Barcelona wouldn’t exactly be losing sleep if the player was to leave.
The Blaugrana are crippled with financial problems at the moment which have made the process of even registering summer signings like Robert Lewandowski and Raphinha incredibly difficult.
And while Joan Laporta continues to pull the controversial ‘economic levers’ at Camp Nou, one can’t help but get the feeling that the club ultimately needs to sell some players to alleviate the strain.
The De Jong saga
The likes of Martin Braithwaite and Samuel Umtiti have been touted as potential departures, but it’s the big-money proposition of De Jong – one of the club’s highest earners – that could really buy them some breathing space.
Yet, things aren’t that easy and even in a world where De Jong merrily wants to stroll over to Old Trafford, kissing Barca goodbye along the way, that wouldn’t solve everything.
As explained by Goal, Barcelona are reported to owe De Jong around €17 million due to the fact that players agreed to defer their wages as a drastic measure to help the club during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The idea being that De Jong would recoup what he was owed across the remainder of his contract which expires in 2026.
So you can understand why the 25-year-old would want to make sure that he received that deferred cash in a world where he left the club, particularly given that they continue to spend big on new signings.
But it seems as though not everyone has sympathy for De Jong as certain Barcelona fans have let the Dutchman, as well as other potential club departures, know how discontent they really are.
De Jong abused by Barca fans
In the same week where Braithwaite was booed by Barca fans at the Joan Gamper Trophy for hitherto remaining at the club on his agreed wages, De Jong has become acutely aware of those who are unhappy with him too.
That’s because Catalan publication Sport uploaded footage on Wednesday which, per Colin Millar of the Mirror’s translation, documents Barca fans abusing De Jong as he enters the club’s training facilities.
And regardless of whether you think De Jong deserves the criticism or is being hard done by, the simple fact of the matter is that it underpins just how messy things have become at Camp Nou – check it out:
Goodness me. What a mess.
A complicated situation
There are clearly those amongst the Barca support who think that De Jong should put whatever perturbations he might have surrounding his agreement with the club aside and help them to balance the books, whether by accepting a lower wage, leaving or chalking off what he’s owed.
But even speaking as a layman looking from the outside in, you can certainly see why De Jong isn’t readily doing that when Barca are ranking amongst the world’s biggest spenders this summer.
It’s not as easy as pushing beads along an abacus in a primary school maths lesson, but you can’t help wondering why settling financial messes like that of De Jong’s wasn’t executed before splashing the cash on new signings.
De Jong TRANSFER CLOSE | Rabiot Terms Agreed? Fofana CLOSER? (Football Terrace)
Whichever way you look at it, Barcelona are in dire straits and De Jong – for better or for worse – is caught in the crossfire of the club’s attempts to wiggle themselves free.