Evgeniy Levchenko, the chairman of the Dutch players’ union [VVCS], has accused Barcelona of ‘exploiting’ Frenkie de Jong following ’s approach.
De Jong is Erik ten Hag’s priority transfer target this summer but the midfielder has shown little interest in a move to United and has publicly declared his preference to stay at Barcelona.
However, Barcelona are looking to sell De Jong in order to balance their finances and an €85 million (£71.7m) deal with United has been agreed.
Before selling De Jong, Barcelona must also settle their wage dispute with the player as they owe him around €17m (£14m) after he agreed to defer payments to help the club’s financial situation.
And Levchenko has slammed Barcelona’s conduct during their negotiations with De Jong.
‘I think a union should protect all players. Now a player is cornered by a club and chased away. It is up to an international union [FIFPro] to stand up,’ Levchenko told ANP.
Levchenko has also warned that could ‘extort’ De Jong by refusing to play him if he insists on staying at Camp Nou.
‘If Barcelona continue to pay his salary, there is nothing contractually wrong either,’ Levchenko said.
‘Barcelona will then invoke sporting grounds, but it is disastrous for the career of a young player. That makes it a kind of extortion.’
When asked if he felt De Jong should accept a pay cut in order to remain at Barcelona, Levchenko said: ‘I would say, ‘no’.
‘Barcelona have complete responsibility. The club’s long-term policy is dramatic. It is crazy when players have to pay for the financial mess.
‘He just feels at home there and understands the culture, so I understand too that he doesn’t want to leave.’
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