Barcelona Alleges Criminal Action Surrounding de Jong’s Contract, per Report

Barcelona Alleges Criminal Action Surrounding de Jong’s Contract, per Report

Published August 8, 2022
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The latest chapter in the Barcelona-Frenkie de Jong saga reportedly involves the threat of legal action and claims of extortion. 

According to The Athletic’s David Ornstein, Barcelona has told de Jong that the terms of his current contract may involve criminality and may have grounds for legal action.  

The club is currently at odds with the league over its financial situation as it finds itself in a race to register summer signings ahead of the start of the La Liga season this weekend—and de Jong has found himself at the center of Barça’s dilemma. 

After signing a two-year contract extension in Oct. 2020, the Dutch midfielder is reportedly owed €18 million ($18.4 million) after part of his salary from the 2020-21 and 2021-22 pandemic seasons was deferred. However, Barcelona reportedly claimed in a letter to de Jong that it found evidence of criminal action on the part of the parties who signed that deal, which was authorized by the club’s previous board and president. 

The letter then reportedly suggests the two parties rescind the terms of the extension and proceed under the terms of the original contract de Jong signed in 2019 after arriving in a €75 million transfer from Ajax. 

The report claims that the previous board members are not worried about the legality of the contract extension, while the chairman of the Dutch players’ union claimed that de Jong might be the target of extortion. 

Barcelona, meanwhile, has reportedly accepted a €65 million offer from Manchester United for the 25-year-old that would, in part, clear the way to register its new signings, which includes Robert Lewandowski, Raphinha, Andreas Christensen, Franck Kessié and Jules Koundé. Club president Joan Laporta told fans prior to Sunday’s Joan Gamper Trophy friendly vs. Mexico’s Pumas UNAM that the club “will be able to register all players.”

However, de Jong has not signed off on any move, with reports claiming he does not want to join the side—coached by his manager at Ajax, Erik ten Hag—partly due to the club’s recent decline and lack of Champions League matches. Both sides have publicly stated a desire for de Jong to remain with Barcelona this season. 

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