Gary Neville has again labeled Barcelona a “disgrace” for their handling of Manchester United target Frenkie de Jong, with Joan Laporta speaking out.
United have been chasing Netherlands midfielder De Jong for several weeks now without any real success. They may have agreed to a £63million deal with the La Liga club, but there are still several roadblocks.
Firstly, De Jong does not want to leave Barcelona – at least not for Old Trafford. On the flipside, Barcelona view him as their most saleable asset and would prefer him to depart.
They are willing to see him stay – but only if he accepts a pay cut. Talks on that front are ongoing, but they are being overshadowed by the 25-year-old’s unpaid wages dispute.
De Jong agreed to forego his salary to help ease Barcelona through the pandemic. And after watching Barca spend big on Raphinha and Robert Lewandowski, De Jong clearly feels they can afford to pay him back.
Earlier this week, former Man Utd full-back Neville called for De Jong to take legal action against Barcelona’s “bullying”. And the advocate for widespread footballing reform has now doubled down on those comments.
Neville wrote on Twitter: “I actually don’t care if he signs for United or not!
“However it has highlighted a situation I’ve always been passionate about which is employers/clubs taking the p*** out of workers/players and not paying them their due money!
“Barca are a disgrace to their great name!”
Joan Laporta talks Frenkie De Jong future
Meanwhile, Barcelona president Joan Laporta has spoken out again on the situation as he sees it.
“He wants to stay and we want him to stay,” Laporta said of De Jong. “That is the most important.
“What is clear is that we have a new salary scale and all the players have to fit into it, we are trying to make these players understand the reality of the club.
“We find ourselves with a salary mass triggered by more than 40 per cent, we all have to make an effort.
“We are going to do everything possible to make him stay and we hope that the player will also do everything possible to stay.”
Man Utd may want to hang on
With the De Jong future dragging on as it is, there is talk from some fans that Man United need to move on.
There is only a week to go until the Premier League season gets underway, but the De Jong saga could drag on until the end of August.
Having said that, there is always the prospect of light at the end of the tunnel for the Old Trafford club.
Why do Manchester United want Frenkie de Jong?
Why do Manchester United want Frenkie de Jong when the player seemingly doesn’t want a move to Old Trafford?
They clearly feel there is a deal to be done for the Netherlands star, or they would have walked away.
The agreement is in place for £63million and, as easy as it sounds, it is just about sorting the wage dispute out – and convincing De Jong to leave.
United should continue negotiations for now, but there surely must come a time when they realize the transfer is not going in their favour.