FC Barcelona seemed to be getting back on their feet after a troubling season, but they don't look completely free from controversy yet. Having splashed over $160 million this summer, many wonder how are they spending so much after everything they went through.
Only a year ago, the Catalans lost Lionel Messi and were unable to make big signings amid a terrible financial crisis. Now, they broke the bank for the likes of Robert Lewandowski, Raphinha, and Jules Kounde. However, it remains to be seen whether La Liga allows them to register their new signings.
Meanwhile, Barca also seem to be interested in finding a new home for Frenkie de Jong in order to cash in and raise some funds, while also reducing the wage bill. On top of that, they are reportedly threatening legal action over the Dutch player.
Report: Barcelona threaten Frenkie de Jong with legal action
According to David Ornstein of The Athletic, Barcelona let Frenkie de Jong know they want to rescind his current contract and go back to the terms of his previous deal, alleging they have found evidence of criminal actions around his renewal and could initiate legal action against all parties involved.
De Jong signed a new contract with Barca on October 2020, extending his deal through 2026 to reportedly reduce his salary for the next two seasons, leaving €18 million to be spread in the next four years. By then, Josep Maria Bartomeu -then Barcelona president - and his board conducted those negotiations before leaving the club.
"Barcelona have told Frenkie de Jong they want to annul his existing contract and return to the deal he was on before, alleging the terms given to him by the club’s previous board involved criminality and provide grounds for legal action against those involved, The Athletic can reveal," Ornstein wrote.
"The letter sent to De Jong last month is thought to inform the Dutchman that Barcelona think they are in a position to initiate criminal proceedings to establish what happened in relation to the signing of his contract and ascertain where responsibility resides for the supposed wrongdoing. It is believed to then express Barcelona’s wish to rescind the deal and proceed with De Jong’s career at the Camp Nou under the conditions agreed when he arrived from Ajax in January 2019."
Amid concerns that this is a case of extorsion, the report adds that FIFPRO is keeping an eye on this situation. Either way, nothing good will probably come out of this. The consequences could be severe either for the previous board or the current one, while the situation could also take a toll on de Jong's relationship with Barca.