De Jong should consider legal action against Barcelona! – Neville

The pundit has offered his support to the Blaugrana midfielder over accusations of unpaid wages

Gary Neville has said that midfielder Frenkie de Jong should consider legal action against Barcelona if rumours of him being owed unpaid wages are accurate. Reports suggest the player is still waiting on £17 million ($20m) in deferred salary payments, and the issue is said to be causing a hold-up in a potential transfer to Manchester United.

De Jong’s treatment has been called “bullying” by Neville, who has also urged the Dutch star’s club team-mates to stand with him in his fight for contractually agreed upon payments.

Barcelona have operated under financial constraints in recent seasons, leading to the exit of Lionel Messi last summer and reduced wages for squad veterans.

“De Jong should consider legal action v Barcelona and all players should be behind him!” Neville wrote on Twitter. “A club spending fortunes on new players whilst not paying the ones they have under contract their full money is immoral and a breach. @FIFPRO should be all over bullying like this and stop it.”

The Catalan club has provided conflicting public comments about whether they wish to sell the midfielder to help address their financial problems.

Despite reports that a deal between Barcelona and Manchester United was close, president Joan Laporta said: “It is not true that the club is obliged to sell Frenkie.”

Earlier this month, he added: “We have no intention of selling him and he wants to stay. Manchester United is not the only one who wants him.”

However, Xavi this week suggested that economic constraints could force Barcelona’s hand.

“For me, he is a fundamental footballer but there is also the economic situation and fair play,” the manager said.

De Jong has participated in Barcelona’s pre-season tour of the United States. The club’s first La Liga match of the season is scheduled for August 13, and if the 25-year-old is still part of the squad, he will likely be expected to play either in the centre of the pitch or in defence, where Xavi has tested him this month.