Gary Neville has claimed that FC Barcelona have been “bullying” Frenkie de Jong as their treatment of the Man Utd target is “wrong”.
We all must be sick of hearing about De Jong by now. This saga is even making United’s pursuit of Jadon Sancho feel palatable.
To make matters worse, it does not seem like his future will be resolved anytime soon.
It does at least appear that United are considering pulling out of the race to sign De Jong, if recent reports are to be believed.
Reports in Spain have consistently claimed that De Jong is not keen to join Man Utd, but he is open to moving to Chelsea.
You have to at least feel for De Jong, as there is no doubt he has been harshly treated by Barcelona.
The Spanish club owe him around £17m in unpaid wages but they have managed to spend a fortune this summer to sign the likes of Roberto Lewandowski and Raphinha.
Neville feels for De Jong as he has been poorly treated after “helping the club”:
“Barcelona fans are battering me at the moment. But I find it unpalatable that they owe players at the club tens and tens of millions in wages,” Neville said during The Overlap’s latest Fan Debate.
“They spent £155m, the wages they’re paying to [Jules] Kounde, [Robert] Lewandowski and Raphinha are off the scale and they’re selling all their TV rights.
“So, they can do all these things but they are bullying De Jong. I don’t care if he comes to United or not, I genuinely don’t. I want him to because I think he’s a good player – but for me, if he doesn’t come, no problem. We’ll go with what we’ve got.
“They’ve deferred his wages, he’s helped the club – well done to him, it was Covid, every club was struggling. He’s obviously shown that he’s a team player. At the point whereby he goes into his big wages to get it paid back, they basically want to try and sell him and probably are trying to push him out the door.
“But they’re saying to him that he won’t get those deferred wages while they’re taking a £55 million or £75 million fee, or whatever it is, from Manchester United. That’s just wrong! And then you go and spend money on Lewandowski at the same time. That’s why I’ve spoken up in the last few weeks.
“I love Barcelona as a football club, it’s unbelievable. It’s not against Barcelona… they might not have broken a rule yet, but morally they’ve broken the rule because they’ve suggested to the player that if he leaves, they won’t pay him that money. The wages that he’s been paid for the last year or two are championship wages.”