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Despite signing Franck Kessie, Andreas Christensen, Raphinha, Robert Lewandowski and Jules Kounde, the Blaugrana are strapped for cash and need De Jong to take a hefty pay cut.
There's talk that Barca want the Netherlands international, one of the club's highest earners, to reduce his salary yet again.
De Jong has already done just that in the past and is reportedly owed €17 million in deferred wages.
Although heavily courted by Erik ten Hag and Manchester United, it's understood that De Jong does not wish to leave the Nou Camp.
However, a new report from Mundo Deportivo claims there is a rather severe legal measure that Barca could utilise in order to get their wish.
They could invoke the legal clause, which enables companies to make “substantial modifications to working conditions when there are proven economic, technical, organizational or production reasons.”
This is a measure that could technically be applicable to the entire squad and De Jong or any player in question, would have three options that could make things even messier.
He could accept the stance, reject and exact legal action or alternatively, turn it down before terminating the contract and receive compensation.
It should be stressed that it is unlikely that Barca will follow this path.
De Jong has been with Barca for pre-season as normal, albeit being deployed as a centre-back by manager Xavi Hernandez.
President Joan Laporta has further talks planned with De Jong and the squad return from the United States.
Former Manchester United captain Gary Neville, meanwhile, has slammed Barcelona's treatment of De Jong and encouraged him to take legal action.
Joan Laporta on de Jong: “Frenkie is Barça player. We want him to stay, he wants to stay. We’ve received important bids for him but he’s our player”. 🚨🇳🇱 #FCB— Fabrizio Romano (@FabrizioRomano) July 29, 2022
“You know salary budget situation; so we will do our best to keep Frenkie at Barça… and I hope he’ll do the same”. pic.twitter.com/2wWcBN9uTk
He said their actions has been "immoral" and called for players' union FIFPro to get involved.