Barcelona president Joan Laporta has reiterated his desire to keep midfielder Frenkie de Jong this summer, but has warned the Dutchman that he must ‘make an effort’ to fit into the club’s new wage structure.
It is understood that De Jong is already owed £17m in deferred wages – an issue which has complicated a possible transfer to Manchester United – and Barcelona are looking to agree further salary cuts as part of their ongoing quest to rebalance the books.
Barcelona’s actions have been slammed by many, from Gary Neville to La Liga president Javier Tebas, the latter of whom has made it clear that De Jong cannot be forced to cut his salary.
While Laporta is keen to keep De Jong, he fired another message to the 25-year-old about what is needed if he wants to stay at Camp Nou.
“He wants to stay and we want him to stay,” Laporta said. “That’s the most important thing.
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“What’s clear is that we have a new salary scale and all the players have to fit into it. We are trying to make these players understand the reality of the club. We find ourselves with a payroll which has risen by more than 40%. We all have to make an effort.
“We are going to do everything possible for him to stay and we hope that the player will also do everything possible to stay.”
La Liga president Tebas has admitted that Barcelona will struggle to register all their new signings under the league’s salary cap without offloading De Jong, although he did acknowledge that the Blaugrana are ‘on the right track’.
Meanwhile, Man Utd continue to push for De Jong’s signature. 90min understands they are prepared to remain patient this summer, with club officials willing to wait as long as it takes to secure the signature of Erik ten Hag’s top target.