SOCCER

Barcelona ‘threaten legal action over Frenkie de Jong’s 2020 contract extension’

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Barcelona ‘have evidence of criminality in Frenkie de Jong’s 2020 contract extension’ as club try to rip it up and revert to previous deal amid messy battle over Barcelona’s £17m deferred salary Man United target takes another twist

  • Barcelona want Frenkie de Jong to return to his original contract from 2019
  • They wrote to the Dutchman about the alleged criminality with his new contract
  • De Jong signed a new deal in 2020 which was overseen by Josep Maria Bartomeu
  • Barcelona believe the terms provide grounds for legal action
  • The Spanish giants want to sell De Jong or cut his salary to ease financial pressure

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Barcelona have reportedly told Frenkie de Jong they want to tear up his current contract and return to the original terms he signed in 2019, alleging the lucrative deal handed to him by the club’s former board involved of “crime”.

De Jong’s future has been the subject of huge speculation this summer, with the Catalan giants desperate to either sell the Dutch midfielder or reach an agreement over the £17m owed to him in deferred wages .

Barcelona see De Jong’s sale as the answer to the current financial constraints that prevent them from registering new signings. They also believe his departure will allow them to strike a deal with Manchester City’s Bernardo Silva.

Barcelona reportedly tell Frenkie de Jong they want to tear up his current contract

Barcelona's board, led by chairman Joan Laporta (right), alleges the mandates given to De Jong by their predecessors involved criminality

Barcelona’s board, led by chairman Joan Laporta (right), alleges the mandates given to De Jong by their predecessors involved criminality

De Jong has been warned that if he stays he must either take a pay cut or find himself used on the bench or in central defence.

De Jong has been warned that if he stays he must either take a pay cut or find himself used on the bench or in central defence.

De Jong is wanted by Manchester United and the Premier League giants agreed a £63million deal with Barcelona last month, but he has no plans to join a club that cannot offer football of the Champions League.

Chelsea are also believed to be keen, but Thomas Tuchel appeared to suggest the midfielder was not a pressing issue for the club following his side’s 1-0 win over Everton on Saturday.

This left Barcelona stuck with De Jong but, according to The Athletic, the club wrote to the player on July 15 to say they ‘have found evidence of criminal actions on behalf of the parties who signed his renewal’ in October. 2020.

De Jong was handed a massive two-year extension by former Barcelona president Josep Maria Bartomeu and is set to earn €20m (£16.8m) nett this season and up to €25m. euros (£21m) the following campaign with deferred wages factored in. .

Gerard Pique, Marc-Andre ter Stegen and Clement Lenglet all received new contracts at the same time and are claimed to be having similar conversations with the club.

De Jong's new contract in 2020 handed to him by former president Josep Maria Bartomeu

De Jong’s new contract in 2020 handed to him by former president Josep Maria Bartomeu

The letter reportedly states that Barcelona believe they are in a position to take criminal action to ‘determine where responsibility for the alleged wrongdoing lies’.

De Jong has already been warned that if he stays at Barcelona he must either take a pay cut or find himself used on the bench (as he was in Sunday’s friendly win over the Pumas) or even in as a centre-back (as he was on the US pre-season tour).

The club had hoped the prospect of him not playing in his position before November’s World Cup would crack the player, but so far he has held firm.

The threat of legal action could therefore be a ploy to get De Jong to return to his original contract and keep him at the club.

It is claimed that the former Barcelona board are ‘confident’ in the legality of the contract renewal signed by De Jong and that it was signed by lawyers and LaLiga.

Manchester United manager Erik ten Hag is desperate to bring De Jong to Old Trafford

Manchester United manager Erik ten Hag is desperate to bring De Jong to Old Trafford

Barca’s treatment of De Jong has been widely criticised. Gary Neville has told the player to take legal action and this week former Netherlands goalkeeper Ronald Waterreus joined the attacks against Barcelona.

He said: “I can’t listen to the slogan ‘Més Que Un Club’ (more than a club) anymore. Barcelona are a commercial monstrosity, in my eyes they symbolize everything that makes modern football so ugly.

Waterreus added: “I hope he keeps his balance and stays unless they harass him more and ruin his own World Cup chances, in which case it would be best if he joins. United.”

If Barcelona are successful in selling De Jong, he will sign Silva from Manchester City.

The financial gain for them will come with the wages as the City midfielder will earn a fraction of the Dutch international’s expected salary.

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