Frenkie de Jong’s future is in the air still. The midfielder’s exit is slow cooking and Manchester United want to bring him to Old Trafford, while Chelsea are also interested. His departure from Barcelona could be understood from a sporting reason, but economic reasons are even more crucial.
De Jong has not reached his top level in his first three seasons at Camp Nou. His quality is undoubted but it’s widely considered that his performance could and perhaps should have been much better. Per Marca, Barcelona would have to pay him huge quantities on the last four years of his deal.
De Jong is set to earn 88.58 million euros during the last four years of his deal, including variables. They include 1.2m if Barcelona get to the final of a Champions League, 1m if they win it, 750k if they win La Liga, and 250k if they win the Copa del Rey. In the case they win it all, his bonuses would be 12.8 million. If he plays in over 60% of the games in a season he gets 2m extra, per season.
His arrival in 2019 stipulated his salary at 14 million euros, but there was a pay cut of 12% for the players, so he got 12.32m for his first season. De Jong renounced an important part of his salary which he will be owed down the line.
The player extended his deal by two seasons with some differed payments. In 19-20 he earned 3 million euros, and in 2020-21 that rose to 9. Far from the 14m stipulated in his contract. Next season he is to earn 18m euros, double of last season, plus a 2.88m loyalty bonus.
The 2023-24 season looks even worse for Barcelona. He would get 18m euros plus a loyalty bonus of 9.7m, meaning his wage would be 27.7m in total. Numbers very far from Barcelona’s ‘appropriate salary levels’.
This explains what Joan Laporta was saying. Take a pay cut, or head to the exit, those are the two paths.