‘Barcelona are the MAFIA’

FT Desk
  • FT Desk
  • 14 Aug 2022 15:00 BST
  • 3 min read
FT Desk 14 Aug 2022 15:00 BST 3 min read
Frenkie de Jong, Barcelona, 2022/23

Former Real Madrid star Rafael van der Vaart has launched a withering attack on Barcelona for their treatment of Frenkie de Jong, comparing the Blaugrana to the mafia.

Barcelona have been attempting to sell De Jong all summer, having been in negotiations with first Manchester United and more recently Chelsea.

The Blaugrana have made it clear to De Jong that if he refuses a move away from the club then he will have to reduce his salary in order to remain.

The reason for this is because Barcelona need to raise cash by selling players and lowering their wage bill in order meet La Liga spending requirements.

However, De Jong is refusing to join Man Utd for sporting reasons and he is also reluctant currently to move to Chelsea as he would rather stay at Barcelona.

De Jong is also refusing to reduce his salary, with reports recently that Barcelona have even threatened legal action if he doesn’t do so.

Frenkie de Jong, Barcelona, 2022/23

The 25-year-old is also said to be angry that Barcelona are refusing to pay him €18 million in wages he is owed after he agreed to defer them to help the club through their post-Coronavirus financial crisis.

This behaviour of Barcelona has shocked Van der Vaart.

What did Van der Vaart say?

“Frenkie? You can’t treat people like this,” the former midfielder told Ziggo.

“De Jong earns too much? You sign a contract and then you fulfil the contract or leave on good terms, but not like this. This is mafia and they have to get punished.

“Barça’s name on the map has become really bad. It’s a great club and everyone wants to play there. But as of now, we judge it differently and I find it a disgrace when you play for them.”

Van der Vaart spent two seasons at Real Madrid from 2008 to 2010 and also played for the likes of Tottenham and Ajax. He made 109 appearances for Netherlands, scoring 25 goals.

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