Barcelona face familiar difficulty as plan to offload Frenkie de Jong takes place

The Dutchman is expected to leave the club in the summer

By Web Desk
February 20, 2024
Frenkie de Jong may leave Barcelona in the summer. — Reuters

Frenkie de Jong has once again become a subject of transfer speculation this month, with reports suggesting that the Barcelona midfielder might depart the club in the summer.

According to the Spanish media, De Jong is eyeing a move away to pursue his ambitions in European football. However, FootballTransfers reported that this narrative is baseless, with Barcelona actively seeking to offload the former Ajax star due to his hefty wages.

Manchester United, Chelsea, and Arsenal have been linked with the Dutch international, but the likelihood of a transfer seems slim as De Jong has no desire to leave.

UEFA shed light on Barcelona's urgent need to reduce their wage bill. In its European Club Finance and Investment Finance report, published recently, Barcelona's wage bill in 2023 was revealed to be €639 million – surpassing even PSG, who had high-earning stars like Kylian Mbappe, Neymar, and Lionel Messi. PSG's wage bill stood at €617 million, a figure they have since reduced following the departure of the two South Americans.

Spanish Financial Fair Play (FFP) regulations exacerbate Barcelona's financial predicament, hindering their ability to manoeuvre in the transfer market due to their debts.

President Joan Laporta and his team are expected to focus on securing summer signings from the free transfer market, as significant spending restrictions are likely to persist unless they can offload two or three key players.

Speculation suggests that PSG could target Gavi, a player highly valued by Barca, but De Jong is seen as a more expendable asset, given his reported weekly wages of around €700,000.

While Xavi holds De Jong in high regard, the upcoming departure of the head coach in the summer presents an opportune moment to part ways with the Dutchman without causing disruption on the managerial front.

This is not the first time Barcelona's financial woes have led to the departure of a key player. In 2020, a tearful Messi bid farewell to the club after they were unable to register his contract following the expiration of his previous deal.

Barcelona is now striving to prevent a similar scenario with their current stars, whom they cannot afford to lose for nothing, potentially necessitating the sacrifice of De Jong.