Barcelona midfielder Frenkie de Jong has opened up on his situation at the club after a summer of speculation that the Catalan giants would sell the Netherlands international.
De Jong made it clear he did not want to go and has ended up staying at the Camp Nou. The midfielder has now told Ziggo Sport he thinks lies have been told about his salary at the club.
The Dutchman was asked if it is a burden to be the club’s highest-paid player following the departure of Lionel Messi and offered up the following response.
“I don’t think I am. There has been a campaign. Look, I never spoke a word myself. The club, or the media associated with the club, have spread a lot of lies. A lot is not true,” he said. “In each of the first three years I played here, I cut my salary. So eventually money has to come back and it will drop on your normal salary so of course it will look bigger. I think many people don’t understand this and the numbers the media are spreading are fake.”
De Jong has faced a struggle to get into the starting XI this season. The Dutchman has only started four La Liga games, with Xavi’s prefrred midfield trio appearing to be Sergio Busquets, Gavi, and Pedri in the early weeks of the campaign.
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Laporta Talks Big Offers For De Jong
President Joan Laporta has confirmed that Barcelona asked De Jong to take a pay cut and that the Catalans received plenty of offers for the midfielder in the summer transfer window, as reported by the Manchester Evening News.
“We’ve received many bids from the Premier League for Frenkie, big money – but we decided to keep a quality player like [De Jong],” he said. “We’ve never forced any player to reduce his salary, we’ve just asked in [a specific] way.”
De Jong has also told Ziggo Sport that he did receive plenty of pressure to leave, even from president Laporta, but had already made his mind up that he did not want to move, as reported by Goal.
“I was calm. I decided, in May, that I wanted to stay. My opinion has never changed during all this period. I remained calm,” he said. “But then you know that the pressure would start coming… Yes, from the newspapers, from the president… From everywhere in fact. But I wanted to stay at Barca, so it never baffled me.”
De Jong Rumors Continue
Rumors about De Jong’s future have continued in the 2022-23 season. Premier League side Liverpool have become the latest club to be linked with a potential move for the Netherlands international.
The Reds are expected to lose midfielders Naby Keita, Oxlade-Chamberlain, James Milner and loanee Arthur at the end of the season and will be in the market for reinforcements, as reported by Diario Sport.
De Jong is said to be “an option” for Jurgen Klopp’s side. Barcelona may well be willing to sell De Jong, due to the club’s financial problems, but the Reds would still need to convince the midfielder to leave.