Gary Neville has urged Manchester United target Frenkie de Jong to file a lawsuit against “immoral” Barcelona for “bullying” him.
The projected transfer of De Jong to Manchester United has reached a stalemate, with the summer transfer window’s longest-running intrigue continuing to take new twists and turns.
United believed they had agreed on an initial transfer fee of £56.2 million at the end of June, and despite Barcelona’s stalling, the club would not abandon up on a deal just yet.
Barcelona has bought Raphinha and Robert Lewandowski for a combined fee of £103.3 million, but despite massive debt, the club has openly stated that De Jong is not for sale.
Recent reports from Spain say Barca manager Xavi has personally reached out to the 25-year-old in an effort to get him to stay on reduced terms.
According to reports, De Jong has been given with a proposal that would keep him on approximately half of his current salary. His difficult situation is preventing Barcelona from hijacking Chelsea’s move for Sevilla defender Jules Kounde.
According to The Independent, De Jong is staying firm, in part because he is owed €17 million (£14.4 million) in deferred wages as a result of a deal reached during the height of the Covid-19 outbreak.
De Jong has been put in a difficult situation by his employers, and former Manchester United defender Neville believes what Barcelona is doing is a breach of contract.
He tweeted: “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.”
According to AS, De Jong will earn about €30 million (£25.5 million) in salaries for the remainder of his current deal, significantly more than the €20 million (£17 million) that Barcelona president Joan Laporta is attempting to persuade him to accept.
Since Erik ten Hag took over as manager at the start of the summer, De Jong has been United’s top transfer target. The Dutch manager worked with his compatriot at Ajax before selling him to Barcelona for a sum of £65 million in 2019.
While United signed Tyrell Malacia, Christian Eriksen, and Lisandro Martinez this summer, progress on De Jong has been difficult. On Sunday, Laporta reiterated that De Jong is not for sale, adding that the club has not even accepted an offer!
“Frenkie de Jong is our player, we really like him,” he said. “We received some offers for Frenkie but we didn’t accept as of now, as we want to talk with him and know exactly what he wants. We need to clarify some aspects of his situation.”