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Barcelona President Joan Laporta Responds To Gary Neville’s Criticism Over Frenkie De Jong

Marcus Chan

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Barcelona President Joan Laporta Responds To Gary Neville’s Criticism Over Frenkie De Jong

Featured Image Credit: Alamy

Barcelona club president Joan Laporta has responded to Gary Neville’s criticism over the club’s treatment of Frenkie de Jong

Neville took to social media to hit out at the La Liga giants after the club continued to spend big money on new players such as Robert Lewandowski and Raphinha.

The Catalan club confirmed the signing of Jules Kounde from Sevilla this week. The French centre back becomes Barcelona’s fifth high profile signing of the summer. 

The former Manchester United player was not happy that Barcelona are willing to splash the cash for new players whilst current players like De Jong, are yet to be paid deferred wages. 

According to multiple reports, Dutch international De Jong is owed around £17 million in deferred wages due to Barcelona’s financial situation. Neville said on Twitter that the player should consider legal action. 

The Sky Sports pundit tweeted: “De Jong should consider legal action v Barcelona and all players should be behind him! A club spending fortunes on new players whilst not paying the ones they have under contract their full money is immoral and a breach.” 

Laporta has now responded to Neville, whilst speaking to CBS, Laporta stated that Neville was wrong to suggest legal action. 

He said: “I respect his opinion, but in my opinion he's not right because I insist we are respecting all our players. We follow the contracts. If we invest in new players it's to make the club more competitive. It's a circle: You invest in new players, the fans engage and that in turn improves our economy.

“Gary has been a very good football player for Manchester United. I respect his opinion and that's all I have to say.” 

In addition to Neville, Laporta also addressed claims made by the chairman of the Dutch players union, Evgeniy Levchenko that he was using ‘extortion tactics’ in his negotiations with the 25-year-old midfielder. 

Laporta said: “There is no extortion being used on Frenkie or anyone else, I respect his opinion, but if talks between two parties counts as extortion then I think this guy is wrong.” 

Laporta then spoke about De Jong situation. 

He said: “What happens if Frenkie de Jong doesn't take a pay cut and just stays at Barça? Then he will continue, he's under contract. We will respect that decision. We count on him.” 

It was reported earlier this month that a deal was agreed between Barcelona and United for the transfer of De Jong, United were to pay Barcelona an initial fee of £63 million plus a further £8.4 million in performance related add ons.

Will De Jong leave Barcelona before the transfer window slams shut? Only time will tell.

Topics: Frenkie De Jong, Joan Laporta, Gary Neville, Barcelona

Marcus Chan
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