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Barcelona find de Jong’s 2020 contract extension invalid, threaten legal action



Photo by PAU BARRENA/AFP via Getty Images

According to the latest report from The Athletic, Barcelona have threatened legal action over Frenkie de Jong’s current contract, which he signed in 2020 when disgraced president Josep Maria Bartomeu was still in charge of the club.

De Jong arrived at Barcelona in the summer of 2019 after a €86 million deal was agreed with AFC Ajax earlier in January that year. The midfielder initially signed a contract until the summer of 2024 but was handed a two-year extension until 2026 by Bartomeu’s board in 2020.

As per the terms of the new deal, de Jong agreed to reduce his salary for the 2020/21 and 2021/22 seasons by around €18 million, which would be paid to him across the remaining four years of his contract.

De Jong was handed a new deal along with three others players in Gerard Pique, Clement Lenglet and Marc-Andre ter Stegen. It was one of the last acts of the previous regime, who soon had to step down, following which elections were held and Joan Laporta returned as president.

With Barcelona needing to reduce their wage bill so that they can register their new signings, they have been trying to get de Jong off the books or lower his salary. But they have not been successful in their endeavours, forcing them into taking drastic actions.

As per the report, Barça sent a letter to de Jong and his camp on July 15 in which they detailed that they believe they have grounds for legal action against the new contract that the midfielder signed.

It is claimed that the Catalans informed the Netherlands star that they are in a position to ‘initiate criminal proceedings’ to assess and establish what happened during the contract negotiations.

Following that, more talks are believed to have taken place between Barça and the midfielder’s camp during which the club warned de Jong that he and his representatives may get implicated even though they hold the previous board responsible for the alleged criminality in the deal.

All this is developing amidst transfer speculations surrounding de Jong, who is a target for Chelsea and Manchester United. The midfielder, for his part, has no desire to leave, but Barcelona want him to reduce his wages if he wishes to continue at the club.

As per the report, the Catalans find his latest contract invalid and want the midfielder to revert to the original deal that he had signed when he was brought in from Ajax.

FIFPRO is said to be closely monitoring de Jong’s situation amid allegations that Barcelona are extorting him as they attempt to convince the player to accept a much lower sum than the €18 million deferred payments as well as reduce his wage further.

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