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Barcelona threaten legal action against Man Utd transfer target Frenkie de Jong

Barcelona sent a letter to the Dutchman after receiving United’s offer, informing him that his contract was illegal and that they could take him to court.

Of Jong, in the bench

The relationship between FC Barcelona and Frenkie de Jong is a difficult one, but no one imagined that the club’s pressure on the Dutchman would reach this point.

As reported by journalist David Ornstein today in The Athletic, Barcelona wish to annul his contract and return to his previous arrangement, as they allege that the terms given to him involved criminal activity and have provided them with grounds for legal action. An action, which according to the same media outlet, Evgeni Levchenko, president of the players’ union in the Netherlands, could be considered “extortion” and is being monitored by the world players’ union, FIFPRO.

Barça’s idea was to annul the contract that De Jong signed with Bartomeu’s board on October 20, 2020 by which the Dutch player extended his contract with Barcelona until 2026 in exchange for lower a salary in the 2020-21 and 2021-22 campaigns. This was an agreement similar to the one that Ter Stegen, Gerard Piqué and Clément Lenglet closed on those dates.

In return, De Jong recovered the money he had stopped earning in the current season and the following one, in which he went on to collect, €15.2 million and €18.3 million, respectively.

Illegal contract

The current Barça board considered that the terms of this renewal were illegal and threatened the player with taking the contract to court to terminate it, although he was given the option of an agreement that consisted of De Jong voluntarily returning to the conditions of the original contract that he signed in January 2019.

That letter reached De Jong's lawyers on July 15 of this year, curiously one day after De Jong refused to accept the first offer that Barça made to him to go to Manchester United.

The previous Barcelona board defend the legality of the contract and argue that this contract was validated by the board of directors, the economic commission, compliance and the auditors. And as if that were not enough, they add that the current board did not see any problem with this contract when they took possession of the club and did the audit first.

Pressure on De Jong to leave

The player’s lawyers, for their part, consider themselves extraordinarily pressured to leave the club to the destination that Barcelona decides and they demand their right to stay at Barça, which is De Jong’s preference, and if he does leave, they will be the ones deciding his fate.

The current situation is one of tension. De Jong, who played and scored in last night’s Gamper Trophy win over Pumas, wants to stay at Camp Nou, despite the mounting pressure.