Manchester United’s main summer target, Frenkie de Jong is receiving ‘mafia treatment’ from Barcelona according to ex Real Madrid star Rafael van der Vaart.
As the summer transfer window enters it’s last two weeks before closing again until January, United seem no closer to securing their man.
But his club’s treatment of one of their highest profile and highest earning players, has come under attack by fellow Dutchman Van Der Vaart in an interview with The Mirror.
The La Liga side are stuck in a contract battle with their Holland midfielder, and United’s new boss Erik ten Hag has been attempting to lure his former Ajax protege to Old Trafford all summer.
With the Camp Nou club reportedly being around £1billion in debt, questions and concerns have been raised over their recent signings, as well as their expectation of current players taking pay cuts.
While De Jong’s future remains uncertain, Barcelona’s way of handling their problems has seen both the club, and it’s president, Joan Laporta, come under attack by the 109-times capped Van Der Vaart.
And fellow ex-Ajax man Van Der Vaart has ripped into Barca, describing their current global image as ‘really bad’.
“Barça’s name on the map has become really bad. It’s a great club and everyone wants to play there. But as of now we judge it differently and I find it a disgrace when you play for them.”
As the Catalan giants seem unwilling to budge on their ultimatum to De Jong, reportedly demanding he cut his salary in half or leave.
“You can’t treat people like this. Frenkie earns too much? You sign a contract and then you fulfil the contract or leave on good terms, but not like this. This is mafia and they have to get punished” says Van Der Vaart.
And the former Tottenham man didn’t stop there in his dissection of Barcelona and their actions, going on to launch a scathing personal attack on Laporta and raising questions over their summer transfer activities.
“How on earth can you buy players when you have no money,” he added. “I find it a disgrace. And Laporta who keeps laughing everywhere with his big head. This man thinks he’s the king. But I think he’s a bit of an idiot”
De Jong didn’t make the starting line up for Barca in their opening league game of the season, as the Spanish side were left frustrated at home with a goalless draw with Rayo Vallecano.
As the saga continues, it remains to be seen if a move away would be best for club and player, with Manchester United still hungry to pounce, despite increasing interest from Premier League rivals Chelsea.
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