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08th Aug 2022

Barcelona threaten Frenkie de Jong with legal action following ‘evidence of criminality’

Daniel Brown

De Jong signed a contract extension with Barcelona in 2020

Barcelona have reportedly asked Frenkie de Jong to annul his current contract and revert to his previous deal, with the LaLiga club alleging that the terms he received from the previous board involved criminality.

As reported by The Athletic, the Catalan giants have written to De Jong to claim that they have found evidence of criminal actions on behalf of the parties who signed his contract renewal on October 20, 2020.

The Dutchman signed a two-year extension at the Camp Nou until 2026. As part of his new deal, his salary was reduced for the 2020/21 and 2021/22 seasons because of the financial impact of the covid-19 pandemic.

He is therefore owed €18m (£15.2m) in deferred payments, which are set to be spread across the subsequent four campaigns.

However, Barcelona reportedly sent a letter for De Jong on July 14 which informed the former Ajax man that they believe “they are in a position to initiate criminal proceedings to establish what happened in relation to the signing of his contract and ascertain where responsibility resides for the supposed wrongdoing”.

The letter is also thought to discuss the Catalan club’s intent to revert De Jong’s contract to the terms that he initially signed when he joined the side in 2019.

De Jong’s contract renewal was one of the final decisions made by former president Josep Bartomeu before he, and the club’s entire board of directors, stepped down.

The Athletic add that Barcelona’s former board are confident that the 25-year-old’s contract renewal was entirely legal. They also insist that it was given full approval by all parties involved, which included LaLiga.

Despite this, the current board have reportedly identified their predecessors for alleged criminality – warning that De Jong and his representatives could also be implicated as a result.

Manchester United have reportedly had a bid accepted for De Jong this summer, but the Netherlands international is refusing to move until he is paid the remainder of his deferred wages.

Barcelona are currently unable to register a number of new signings – including star striker Robert Lewandowski – so would likely be open to letting him leave the club.

De Jong, who has scored 13 goals in 138 appearances for the Catalan club, has also attracted interest from Chelsea this transfer window.

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