Frenkie de Jong’s potential move to Manchester United remains on hold as Barcelona are reportedly unwilling to commit to pay the midfielder the €17m (£14.5m) he is owed following a restructure of his contract.
The 25-year-old is understood to have agreed to a reduced salary over the last two seasons as a result of the coronavirus pandemic, and to defer the wages he is owed to a later date within his four-year contract.
However, the Independent claims that the Catalan giants are refusing to pay De Jong at present, due to their well-documented financial problems, while the midfielder is not prepared to soften his stance on the situation.
The report adds that Barca do not technically owe De Jong the deferred payments as of now, but the midfielder is entitled to receive up to £14.5m if he fulfils his contract at Camp Nou until June 2026.
De Jong has been heavily linked with a move to Old Trafford this summer, with Erik ten Hag identifying the former Ajax man as one of his primary midfield targets ahead of the 2022-23 campaign.
It was reported last week that Man United have reached a full agreement with Barcelona to sign De Jong for €75m (£63.5m) plus add-ons, with the deal potentially rising to around €85m (£72m).
As things stand, United are prepared to wait in the hope that Barcelona and De Jong can come to an agreement.
If Barcelona refuse or cannot afford to pay De Jong, United are allegedly unable to step in and pay the figure De Jong is claiming for due to both legal and tax conditions, as reported by the Independent.
Earlier this summer, De Jong publicly stated that he would prefer to stay at Barcelona this summer despite interest from United, and claims that he is already playing for the “biggest club in the world”.
Speaking to ESPN, the Dutchman said: “I prefer to stay with Barcelona. Barcelona is just my dream club. Also from a young age. I just said it too. I’ve never regretted my choice despite the fact that I had hoped for more in terms of prizes than I’ve achieved so far. But I have never regretted my choice.
“You are always flattered when teams show interest in you as a player. But I think I am at the biggest club in the world at the moment and feel fine there so there is no news.”
Despite one report claiming that De Jong is now open to reuniting with Ten Hag at Old Trafford, another report states that he would only be prepared to leave Barca if he received an offer from Bayern Munich.
It is though that United’s lack of Champions League football is a major factor as to why De Jong is in favour of staying at Barcelona or potentially joining Bayern.
There has already been dialogue between both Bayern and Barcelona this summer over the transfer of Robert Lewandowski, but it currently remains unknown whether the German giants would be prepared to open talks regarding a move for De Jong.
Since joining Barcelona from Ajax in the summer of 2019, De Jong has made 138 appearances for the club across all competitions, scoring 17 times and providing 13 assists.