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How much do Barcelona owe Frenkie de Jong? Wages & transfer deadlock explained

12:30 BST 26/07/2022
Frenkie de Jong Barcelona 2021-22
The Netherlands international midfielder has been heavily linked with Manchester United, but he is reluctant to walk away from Camp Nou

Frenkie de Jong has dominated transfer gossip columns in the summer of 2022, with the Barcelona midfielder becoming a top target for Manchester United, but there are several issues complicating matters at Camp Nou. The biggest of those relates to money owed to the Netherlands international as part of a lucrative contract in Catalunya.

Why is that proving to be such a problem and how much is the 25-year-old owed by La Liga heavyweights that are prepared to cash in on him during the current window? GOAL takes a look at a long-running saga…

How much do Barcelona owe Frenkie de Jong?

De Jong has been on Barcelona’s books since completing a €75 million (£64m/$77m) move from Ajax in the summer of 2019.

He has taken in 140 appearances for the club, with Ernesto Valverde, Quique Setien, Ronald Koeman and Xavi all finding a regular role for him in their plans.

Much-publicised financial struggles at Camp Nou have, however, impacted him as much as anybody else.

It is now reported that De Jong is owed around €17m (£14m/$17m) by Barca, making his reluctance to walk away from the club entirely understandable.

Why is Frenkie de Jong owed money by Barcelona?

The debt accrued by Barca is a result of drastic measures put in place during the Covid-19 pandemic – when clubs around the world had to shut down completely before returning to action behind closed doors.

Players agreed to defer wage payments due to them at that time, with the Blaugrana desperately trying to keep their books balanced.

The intention was for back payments to be spread across the remainder of any given contract, with De Jong tied to terms in Catalunya through to 2026.

Barca are said to have put an offer to the Dutchman that falls well short of what is owed to him, while plans to cut his annual salary in half – allowing the club to register new additions – have also been discussed.

An unfortunate situation continues to dominate the headlines, with Manchester United legend Gary Neville – who took in a brief spell as manager of Valencia in 2015-16 – saying on social media: “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. @FIFPRO should be all over bullying like this and stop it.”

Will Frenkie de Jong sign for Manchester United?

GOAL was able to confirm on July 14 that Premier League heavyweights from Old Trafford had agreed a £71m ($84m) deal for De Jong, with personal terms all that were left to thrash out.

No progress has been made there, with the Red Devils having to be patient as Erik ten Hag seeks to add another fellow countryman to his squad, and it remains to be seen whether a deal can be done.

Barca have stated on a regular basis that they would be happy to keep De Jong on their books, while the player himself has expressed no desire to move on.

He told ESPN back in May: “I prefer to stay with Barcelona. Barcelona is just my dream club.”

United are not giving up the chase, despite various obstacles being placed in their path, but there are a number of issues that need to be resolved before a big-money transfer can be completed.