De Jong Out: Barcelona Pursues Legal Action To Boot Player

Barcelona believe they are in a position to launch criminal proceedings to 'ascertain where responsibility resides for the supposed wrongdoing.'

Barcelona have reportedly told Frenkie de Jong that they want to rip up his current contract and revert back to the original terms he signed in 2019, alleging the lucrative deal handed to him by the club’s former board involved ‘criminality’.

De Jong’s future has been the subject of huge speculation this summer with the Catalan giants desperate to either sell the Dutch midfielder or come to an agreement over the £17million he is owed in deferred wages.

Barcelona see the selling of De Jong as the answer to the current financial constraints that are stopping them from registering new signings. They also believe his departure will allow them to pursue a deal for Bernardo Silva from Manchester City.

De Jong is wanted by Manchester United and the Premier League giants agreed a £63m deal with Barcelona last month but he has no intention of joining a club that cannot offer Champions League football.

Chelsea are also believed to be keen but Thomas Tuchel appeared to suggest that midfield was not a pressing issue for the club after his side’s 1-0 win over Everton on Saturday.

That has left Barcelona stuck with De Jong but, according to The Athletic, the club wrote to the player on July 15 to tell him that they ‘found evidence of criminal actions on behalf of the parties who signed his renewal’ in October 2020.

De Jong was given a massive two-year extension by previous Barcelona president Josep Maria Bartomeu and is due to earn €20m (£16.8m) net this season and as much as €25m (£21m) the following campaign with deferred wages factored in. 

Gerard Pique, Marc-Andre ter Stegen and Clement Lenglet were all given new contracts at the same time and it’s claimed they are having similar conversations with the club.

The letter reportedly says that Barcelona believe they are in a position to launch criminal proceedings to ‘ascertain where responsibility resides for the supposed wrongdoing.’

De Jong has already been warned that if he stays at Barcelona he either needs to take a pay cut or find himself used from the bench (as he was in Sunday’s friendly win over Pumas) or even as a centre-back (as he was on the US pre-season tour).

The club had hoped that the prospect of him not playing in his position in the lead-up to November’s World Cup would make the player crack but so far he has held his ground.

Threat of legal action could therefore be a ploy to get De Jong to revert to his original contract and keep him at the club.

It’s claimed the previous Barcelona board are ‘confident’ in the legality of the contract renewal signed by De Jong and that it was signed off by lawyers and LaLiga.