Barcelona have informed Frenkie de Jong that they hope to annul his contract as the terms he was offered by the previous board were illegal.
De Jong's future has been the subject of intense speculation this summer. 90min understands that Chelsea have formalised their interest in him in recent days, while Manchester United reached an €85m agreement with Barça earlier this summer.
That potential move to Old Trafford has been held up by the Dutchman's insistence on being paid around €20m in deferred wages after he agreed to alter his contract during Barcelona's financial struggles in the last couple of years.
However, The Athletic now report that Barcelona contacted De Jong in the middle of July to say they found evidence of 'criminality' from both the club and player's side regarding his last contract extension in October 2020.
This contract meant that De Jong was tied to the club for a further two years until 2026, but reduced his wages for the 2020/21 and 2021/22 seasons, with the difference being made up in the following four years. Gerard Pique, Marc-Andre ter Stegen and Clement Lenglet signed similar deals.
Scott Saunders, Graeme Bailey & Sean Walsh bring you Talking Transfers, discussing Chelsea's plans to sign Wesley Fofana. There's the latest on James Maddison, Jamie Vardy, Cristiano Ronaldo and Frenkie de Jong, and chat on Diogo Jota's new deal and Roberto Firmino's Liverpool future. Available on all audio platforms and the 90min YouTube channel.
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The current Barcelona board have since told De Jong they believe certain laws were broken in signing such a deal and they are considering legal action with a view to the contract being annulled. They then proposed the midfielder returns to the terms of his first contract with the club signed in 2019.
Barcelona's previous board who signed off these deals, led by president Josep Maria Bartomeu, reckon that everything regarding these contracts was above board, not least because La Liga and other legal parties green-lit them.
Head coach Xavi and current club president Joan Laporta have both publicly insisted they would like De Jong to stay, with the latter going as far to saying he may not need to take a pay cut in order to do so, but signals coming out of Camp Nou have repeatedly told an opposite story.