De Jong owed £17m by Barcelona as Man Utd transfer saga hits another setback

Manchester United's move for Frenkie de Jong has been rocked by a fresh setback after it emerged that Barcelona owed the Dutchman £17million in waived salary and bonuses.

De Jong is thought to be United's top target as new boss Erik ten Hag attempts to overhaul his squad. The midfielder had impressed under Ten Hag when the duo worked together at Ajax, earning himself a big-money move to Barcelona.

But since his arrival at the Nou Camp, Barca's financial situation has dramatically changed, with the La Liga giants fighting fires on numerous fronts. Years of overpaying on players who turned out to be flops, coupled with the coronavirus pandemic, saw Barca's bank balance take a serious hit.

  • Erik ten Hag furious after Frenkie de Jong's Man Utd transfer aborted by Barcelona

And according to The Telegraph, those financial challenges led to him agreeing to decrease his annual salary from £12m to £2.6m in 2020 for that season. He then agreed another salary reduction a year later, taking home £4.3m less than his original salary.

That means that he is owed £13.7m in waived wage by Barcelona, who appear to be in little position to pay that figure. It is stated that he is owed a further £3.4m in waived bonuses, having played more than 60 per cent of Barca's matches over the past two seasons.

De Jong signed a new contract to see those changes come into effect in October 2020, which also extended his stay by two years to 2026. The plan was for Barca to then spread the deferred payments to the midfielder over that longer period.

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But if he completes a transfer move to United this summer, then Barca could be liable to pay the £17m they owe him immediately. Ten Hag is now said to be facing an 'agonising wait' as Barca attempt to thrash out a deal with De Jong over those payments.

Having lost the likes of Paul Pogba, Nemanja Matic and Juan Mata, United's midfield is in dire need over new faces. The Red Devils had hoped that De Jong would lead the way as their star summer signing, though the latest reports from Catalonia would appear to be a huge setback.

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