Barcelona truly operates by its own rule book.
Representing Catalonia, a region in northeastern Spain that is so Spanish that they don’t even consider themselves to be Spanish anymore, Barca’s bullheadedness is almost ingrained in their DNA.
Barcelona is Barcelona to the core. That being said, they have some pretty shady offseason transfer tactics.
How can a club with over $1 billion in debt possibly buy four of the most sought-after players in football, all in one summer? Many have described Barca’s tactics as ‘Sign now, pay later,’ with critics like Gary Neville going even further, suggesting Barca’s practices should get them sued.
Here’s what’s going down with De Jong – Frenkie de Jong, a Dutch midfielder, may not be a household name like Messi or Neymar, but he is a young player of the highest quality. He is smart, sharp, quick, consistent, and one of the main reasons Barcelona will even be in the Champions League this season.
But, despite De Jong’s expressed desire to remain with Barcelona (have you ever been there – who wouldn’t?), FCB is putting pressure on De Jong to cut his wages or find a new club.
According to transfer god Fabrizio Romano, Barca prez Laporta has put the ball in Frenkie’s court, essentially saying Barcelona wants the top-level footballer at a mid-level price.
“Frenkie is Barça player. We want him to stay, he wants to stay. We’ve received important bids for him but he’s our player…
You know salary budget situation; so we will do our best to keep Frenkie at Barça… and I hope he’ll do the same”.
It’s arguably a shitty way to treat a player who helped you reach the point where new players like Raphinha and Lewandowski would even consider joining (no UCL = no new signings), but hey, that’s Barca.
According to a new ESPN report, Barcelona has sent De Jong’s legal team what essentially amounts to a threat to sue if the Dutch middie doesn’t accept a lower wage. In 2020, De Jong took a pay cut from then FCB president Josep Maria Bartomeu as part of a deal to stay on till 2026 and help rebuild the floundering club. Now Barca’s lawyers are suggesting the 2020 contract negotiations may have been illegal and could have legal consequences if De Jong doesn’t accept a pay cut.
Again, this is an insane (and bordeline hilarious) way to treat one of your best players who took less money to help out the team, but hey, that’s Barca.
Still, Frenkie is standing his ground, God bless him. He’d rather be in Catalonia than Manchester or London, though running to Chelsea wouldn’t be near as bad as joining Man U. (Manchester United, much like Barca without De Jong, will not be in the Champions League this season.)
The De Jong dilemma will continue to play out this week as Barcelona scrambles to get all their signings registered for La Liga by the time they open against Rayo Vallecano, the other other (nope, not Getafe) Madrid team, on Sunday. Either way, Barca has to sell some players, even if they do plan to sign Marcos Alonso this week.
Just look at this 31-MAN SQUAD (!!!) they rolled up with to play Pumas on Sunday. They didn’t even need half those guys to kick Pumass (Pumas’s ass).
What do you think of Barca’s transfer tactics? Let us know in the comments below!
Featured Image: Pexels/Ketut Subiyanto/FCBarcelona/DM