FC Barcelona have issued midfielder Frenkie De Jong an ultimatum over his exit according to SPORT.
The club has now asked the player to either accept a pay cut and fall in line with the club’s new wage structure or accept an offer from the clubs demanding his services.
The De Jong transfer saga has been drawn out since the beginning of the summer window, and there is seemingly no end in sight just yet.
De Jong is one of the highest earners at Barcelona, and the club would like the player to take a pay cut.
The club is trying to ensure no player within the first team earns above €10 million a year, and De Jong will earn about €22 million in 2022/23 as per the pay raise mandated in his contract. It’s relevant to note that this pay raise is due to the player agreeing to defer wages a couple of years ago at the club’s request. Wages that the club are now unwilling to pay.
The club wants to keep the player, but they will need him to accept a significant cut from his salary.
Barcelona have been negotiating with Premier League sides Manchester United and Chelsea. They accepted an €85 million offer from United for the Dutch international at the start of July, and have given the green light to Chelsea to discuss terms with the player.
De Jong has rejected both clubs in favour of staying at Barcelona but now faces a decision.
De Jong has seen Barcelona sign Andreas Christensen, Franck Kessie, Raphinha, Robert Lewandowski, and Jules Kounde this summer while renewing Ousmane Dembele’s contract.
De Jong is happy under Xavi Hernandez, and his camp have doubts about why he should accept a wage reduction – i.e. forego his deferred wages at a time when the club is spending so heavily on recruitment using (in part) the money they held back from him.
Alongside de Jong, Barcelona are also trying to shift Memphis Depay (who wants his contract terminated so he can leave on a free) and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, who is on Chelsea’s shopping list for a new striker.
Even with Depay and Aubameyang leaving, Barcelona will still need to get de Jong’s deferred wages off their books to allow them to register all their new players. Easily the most-talked about transfer saga this summer, this one is bound to get messier before it’s over.