Former Chelsea target Frenkie de Jong has launched an attack on the Barcelona board for allegedly leaking his contract details over the summer. The 25-year-old midfielder was heavily linked with a move to the Premier League in the summer as the Spanish giants looked to resolve their financial troubles.
football.london understand that Chelsea have liked the idea of signing the Netherlands international for a few years now and, despite having once been confident of landing his signature, a move away from the Camp Nou failed to materialise. It’s said that the Blues were in talks with the Dutchman over a potential move to Stamford Bridge as former boss Thomas Tuchel looked to bolster his midfield with more creativity.
A key factor which fuelled speculation that De Jong, who sees his contract at Barcelona expire in 2026, would leave was the dispute in wages between player and club. According to The Telegraph, as of July, the Catalan side owed him £17million in deferred wages from the pandemic.
Speaking to De Telegraaf ahead of the Netherlands’ World Cup opener against Senegal, the midfielder criticised a ‘campaign with lots of lies‘. A handful of Spanish outlets reported that De Jong was not willing to take a pay cut in order to help Barcelona solve their financial woes.
But, despite the saga, he insisted that he’s happy in Barcelona. De Jong said: “I am very happy in Barcelona. When I play it’s great and in terms of living here life is perfect. I see myself in Barcelona for as long as possible. I personally hope for another eight or 10 years.
“One day a paper published details from my contract,” he added. “I didn’t leak it and only one other party knew about this, so it had to be the club who did this. Suddenly there was a letter in which the question was asked whether my contract was still valid because the previous president made the contract.
“I found it very annoying that the club did this, but I had no further influence on things. I blame these people [those at Barca who wanted him out], but I have nothing to do with them. Yes, they are Barca for me because they lead the club. But I don’t see them when I’m at the club. I have nothing to do with them in my daily life.”
De Jong impressed for Louis van Gaal’s side in Netherlands’ World Cup opener, providing an assist for Cody Gakpo as they won 2-0.The Oranje now face Ecuador on Friday afternoon and the Barcelona star will be looking to continue his exciting form.