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30th Jul 2022

Barça president responds to Gary Neville’s comments over treatment of Frenkie de Jong

Callum Boyle

Neville hit out at Barça’s treatment of De Jong

Barcelona president, Joan Laporta, has hit back at Gary Neville’s comments about the club’s treatment of Frenkie de Jong.

Neville called out the Catalan giants on social media for their big summer spending spree, despite reportedly owing De Jong £17m in deferred wages due to their precarious financial state.

This week Barça confirmed their fifth signing of the summer after beating Chelsea to the signature of defender Jules Koundé from Sevilla.

Koundé joins Robert Lewandowski, Raphinha, Franck Kessie and Andreas Christensen at the club, who are now keen to get some of their biggest earners off the wage bill.

De Jong has been linked with a move to Manchester United all summer

De Jong is one of those clubs that are looking to move on, with Manchester United keen to bring him to Old Trafford. The Dutch midfielder, however, isn’t as sold on the idea, and the Dutch international has been left frustrated with his current employers’ free spending policy on new signings while failing to pay those already on the books.

Neville has also been left annoyed by Barcelona’s handling of the situation and said that De Jong should consider taking legal action.

He said: “De Jong should consider legal action v Barcelona and all players should be behind him! A club spending fortunes on new players whilst not paying the ones they have under contract their full money is immoral and a breach.”

‘I insist we are respecting all our players’

During an interview with CBS, Laporta said that Neville was wrong to suggest that De Jong should take legal action against the club.

“I respect his opinion, but in my opinion he’s not right because I insist we are respecting all our players. We follow the contracts. If we invest in new players it’s to make the club more competitive,” he said.

“It’s a circle: You invest in new players, the fans engage and that in turn improves our economy.

“Gary has been a very good football player for Manchester United. I respect his opinion and that’s all I have to say.”

Laporta added that he would respect the Dutch midfielder’s decision about his future.

“What happens if Frenkie de Jong doesn’t take a pay cut and just stays at Barça? Then he will continue, he’s under contract,” he added. “We will respect that decision. We count on him.”

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