Frenkie de Jong, a midfielder for Barcelona, has responded to those who have criticized him for allegedly refusing a pay decrease.
When the 25-year-old Dutchman joined the Catalan giants in 2019, he agreed to a salary of £400,000 per week.
Then, when Josep Maria Bartomeu was the club’s ex-president, he signed a hefty two-year deal.
But in each of his first three seasons, De Jong had to accept a pay cut due to Barcelona’s severe financial situation.
This implies that in addition to the player’s current compensation, they must now pay him the deferred payments.
De Jong will therefore make £16.8 million net this season, followed by up to £21 million in the next campaign, statistics which include £17 million in delayed payments. De Jong was frequently mentioned in summer transfer rumors to Manchester United.
And the midfielder has finally cleared the air on the debate around his pay package.
De Jong stated the following on TV NOS via Mundo Deportivo: “There have been many lies and falsehoods spread about my salary.”
“In each of the first three years I played here, I cut my salary. Eventually the money comes back, and it comes on top of my normal salary, so it looks bigger.”
“I think a lot of people don’t understand this, but the figures the media are spreading are false.”
Barcelona intended to get rid of De Jong in the summer in order to relieve some of their financial pressure and make room for all of their new recruits.
Despite intense interest from Manchester United and Chelsea, the former Ajax player made it clear that he wanted to remain at the Nou Camp.
And he recently disclosed that he believed the club was trying to push him out during the transfer window.
De Jong revealed to Ziggo Sport last week: “I was calm. I decided in May that I wanted to stay. My opinion has never changed during this entire period.
“I stayed calm. But then you know the pressure would start to come.”
“Yes, from the newspapers, from the president, exactly. From everywhere actually. But I wanted to stay at Barca so it never baffled me.”
De Jong has started four of Barcelona’s eight La Liga games thus far this season, including their 3-1 loss to Real Madrid in Sunday’s El Clasico.
He still feels “disgusted” about his place in Xavi’s squad, where he has to contend with players like Sergio Busquets, Gavi, and Pedri.
And in the upcoming months, he might eventually leave due to the unrest at the Spanish club.
Frenkie De Jong
A midfielder for La Liga team Barcelona and the Netherlands national team, Frenkie de Jong was born in the Netherlands on May 12, 1997.
He is a dynamic midfielder who excels in passing, dribbling, vision, good defensive play, and offensive skill.
De Jong has often been listed as one of the top midfielders in the world of soccer.
In 2015, De Jong started his professional career at Willem II. A year later, for a sum of €1, he moved to Ajax. A sell-on clause used to offset the symbolic charge.
After winning a domestic double and making it all the way to the Champions League semifinals, he made a name for himself at Ajax as one of the top young midfielders in Europe.
In a historic 2018–19 season, De Jong won the Eredivisie and KNVB Cup, was named Eredivisie player of the year, and helped Ajax reach its first UEFA Champions League semifinal in 22 years.
De Jong decided to join Barcelona in January 2019 during his breakthrough season, and the club eventually acquired him in July for a €75 million cost.
De Jong was one of three Dutch players to appear in the 2019 FIFA FIFPro World11 for the first time in five years.
According to reports from earlier in August, De Jong agreed to postpone over €17 million in salary when extending his contract during the pandemic.
The Netherlands international signed a two-year agreement until 2026, which decreased his base €14m-per-year wage to €3m for 2020–21 and €9m last season. This was done to help Barcelona deal with the financial effects of Covid-19.
In addition to an additional €1 million to be paid in the last year, this left a delayed €16 million to be distributed over the remaining four years of his contract.
Barcelona would still be obligated to pay four more years of his base salary as well as €15.6 million in loyalty bonuses on top of those deferred salaries.
The entire cost of the package is €88.6m, but even that does not include add-ons for performance that may push the amount well past nine figures.
Given that situation, it is understandable why a club in Barça’s desperate financial situation would be keen to get rid of De Jong’s contract and make a profit on a player who still has high resale value.
With a guaranteed upfront payment of €75 million and a further €10 million in add-ons, United and Barcelona agreed on a transfer fee of €85 million (£71 million) for De Jong.
Personal conditions still need to be worked out, but there is also a €17 million wage dispute between De Jong and Barcelona that needs to be resolved.
As The Independent reported in August, Barcelona made a first offer to try to resolve the situation, but that was still more than €10m less than what De Jong is owed. Naturally, it was turned down.