On Monday, reports emerged stating that Barcelona were forcing Frenkie de Jong to revert to the original contract that he signed in 2019 as they believed they had evidence that the extension he signed in 2020 involved ‘criminality’, which made it invalid.
It was claimed that the Catalans were considering legal action regarding the matter and had warned de Jong and his camp that they might get implicated even though the club held the previous board, led by ex-president Josep Maria Bartomeu, responsible.
Now, according to Cat Radio, Frenkie de Jong and his camp have reacted to the development and believe that it is not the midfielder’s fault that Barcelona have gone broke and want the Blaugrana to take responsibility and pay him according to the contract that was agreed upon.
It is claimed that the Dutchman’s camp believes that they more than played their part in helping the club, settling for wages as less as €3 million in 2020/21 and €6 million in 2021/22, which they consider is well below the level of the midfielder and now want Barça to hold up their end of the deal.
While Barcelona talk of alleged criminality in his 2020 contract extension, it has left de Jong and his entourage befuddled as to how the deal passed through several audits, La Liga regulation checks and forensics if there was anything invalid or illegal element involved.
De Jong’s camp firmly believes that there was no ‘criminality’ in the contract extension and have been left disappointed by the way Barcelona are treating the Dutchman. In particular, the report states that they feel let down by fellow countryman Jordi Cruyff.
In the coming days, the Dutchman and his representatives plan to reveal their side of the story.
Barcelona have been trying to get de Jong to lower his salary or offload him all summer. They even have an agreement with Manchester United to sell the midfielder, but he does not wish to leave, nor is he willing to take a pay cut, having already sacrificed a significant chunk of his wages in the past.
Earlier this month, reports had claimed that representatives of the midfielder and several other Barça players thought that the club was behind his contract leaks to put pressure on him to accept a lower salary.
The latest development seemingly adds more credence to those claims, with the Dutch players’ union chairman, Evgeniy Levchenko, accusing Barcelona of extorting de Jong.
It will certainly be interesting to see how this story develops and whether de Jong still wants to remain at the club once the dust settles on this entire episode.