News From Manchester: Frenkie de Jong told he is being ‘extorted’ by Barcelona amid Manchester United transfer chase

De Jong is Manchester United s top summer target and the club agreed a deal in principle for the player last month. However, talks have seemingly ground to a halt since it emerged that Barcelona owe a substantial amount of money in deferred wages to the midfielder.

In the meantime, the Spanish giants have made a number of high-profile signings that have totalled nearly 100m despite being in masses of debt. Now, reports claim that Barcelona are strongly urging De Jong to accept a pay cut to stay on at the Nou Camp.

The player has underlined his intentions to stay at the club, but is yet to receive the full amount he is owed. Dutch players' union chairman Evgeniy Levchenko described the situation as disastrous and called the clubs treatment of De Jong insane.

Speaking to Voetbal Primeur, he said: I think a union should protect all players. Now a player is cornered by a club and chased away.

Then it is up to an international union to stand up. FC Barcelona will then invoke sporting grounds, but it is disastrous for the career of a young player. That makes it a kind of extortion.

He added: I would say no [to a wage reduction]. FC Barcelona has full responsibility. The clubs long-term policy is dramatic. It is insane when players have to pay for the financial mess.

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