Things are getting ugly between FC Barcelona and Frenkie de Jong, with the player now accusing the club of extortion and running a media smear campaign against him as he also considers legal action.
Barca have been trying to offload their €75mn ($76.6mn), 2019 signing from Ajax since the end of last season given their financial woes made up of debts of around $1.4bn.
Despite an €85mn ($87mn) transfer agreement between the Catalans and Manchester United in July, De Jong refused to switch allegiances due to the Premier
In recent weeks, Barca have changed their tune by insisting that they want De Jong to stay. Yet at the same time, they are sending out mixed signals by pulling off a series of tricks that appear to be an attempt to drive him out of the club.
One of these has been the way that president Joan Laporta and his board have threatened legal action against the Dutchman and those – including Laporta’s predecessor Josep Bartomeu – involved in his 2020 contract extension due to the discovery of alleged criminal activity.
Barca want De Jong, who is scheduled to take home €18mn ($18.4mn) next season and then €88.58mn ($90.2mn) over the last four years of his contract due to deferring wages in the pandemic, to annul the deal and refer back to his previous arrangement signed in 2019.
According to Mundo Deportivo, however, who have spoken to fanily sources close to the player De Jong has “0.00%” intention of doing this and believes that Barca are trying to extort him while also running a media smear campaign to tarnish his reputation.
In fact, he is also considering his own legal action against the club, with his lawyers analyzing Barca’s actions in detail which the AFE and FIFPro Spanish and international football players’ unions, plus La Liga, have been informed about.
The source explains that despite his internal issues with his employer, De Jong remains “mentally very strong and very positive”, and wants to start the season on Saturday against Rayo Vallecano with the goal of finally winning some titles at Camp Nou.
Furthermore, his relationship with coach Xavi Hernandez is described as being “very good”.
In public, however, De Jong and his agents will exhibit radio silence aware that any statements could work against them rather than in their favor.