De Jong joined by Barcelona team-mate over wage rebellion

FT Desk
  • FT Desk
  • Updated: 5 Aug 2022 11:18 BST
  • 3 min read
FT Desk Updated: 5 Aug 2022 11:18 BST 3 min read
Martin Braithwaite and Frenkie de Jong in action for Barcelona.

Frenkie de Jong isn't the only player refusing to leave Barcelona with wages still owed, with the richest player at Camp Nou also holding firm.

Barcelona remain more than €1 billion in debt, and the club have been attempting to persuade the likes of De Jong, Martin Braithwaite and Memphis Depay to leave in order to register their new signings in time for the 2022/23 La Liga season.

Robert Lewandowski, Raphinha and Jules Kounde have been signed for a combined €150 million, but unless the club can further balance their books, they may not be eligible to play against Rayo Vallecano next weekend.

Braithwaite's books are very well balanced, meanwhile. The Middlesbrough flop may have 20 players paid more than him at Camp Nou, but his off-field investments in property and fashion mean that since Lionel Messi's departure last summer, he is the richest player at the club.

The Denmark international is on €6m a season with Barcelona, which is an eyewatering return for a player who featured in five games in all competitions last season, but Spanish outlet Sport report that Braithwaite is demanding the remaining two years of his contract be paid in full should he terminate his deal.

Barcelona's position

"[Braithwaite] has a contract until 2024 and has asked to receive his full salary in order to leave, without forgiving anything," write.

"The position, for now, seems deadlocked. Barca has tried to negotiate a reduction. First he was offered a free transfer, pure and simple, then he was offered a year of his pay... and there is some displeasure at Barcelona about how events are unfolding."

Braithwaite was left out of Barcelona's recent pre-season tour of the USA, with Lewandowski, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and even wantaway Memphis Depay ahead of him in the strikers' pecking order ahead of the new season.

Braithwaite reportedly has an offer from Saudi Arabia which would treble his income, but he has proven a shrewd operator in business and would clearly like to leave with an extra €12m in his pocket.

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