Barcelona are reportedly threatening legal action against one of their stars as the club desperately need to sell players and cut wages amid La Liga's stringent Financial Fair Play rules.
Operation De Jong Out: Barcelona considering legal action to force player's exit
Barcelona are reportedly threatening to take legal action in a bid to force the sale of Frenkie de Jong before the required deadline to register their summer signings.
Barcelona are understood to be open to selling their star midfielder in a bid to ease the current wage cap and register the club's new signings.
However, the Dutchman has continued to insist on remaining with the Blaugrana beyond this summer, and is being owed by the cub having previously deferred his wages.
Barcelona to open 'legal proceedings' against Frenkie de Jong
The 22-year-old Dutch midfielder, who has been heavily linked with a move to Manchester United this summer, has been urged to cut ties with Barcelona this summer.
Reports claim that De Jong's existing contract has "evidence of criminality" within it.
Barca allegedly wrote to De Jong telling him there was evidence of criminal actions in the contract renewal he signed on October 20, 2020.
The two-year contract extension - taking him up to 2026 - reduced his salary for the 2020-21 and 2021-22 seasons in order to alleviate Barca's financial problems.
This left £15.2million to be paid to De Jong across the following four seasons.
Fellow stars Gerard Pique, Marc-Andre ter Stegen and Clement Lenglet also signed similar deals to reduce the club's wage bill.
Barca now want De Jong to revert to the terms of the agreement which he originally signed in January 2019 under former president Josep Bartomeu.
According to a tweet from transfer journalist, The Athletic's David Ornstein: "Barcelona told Frenkie de Jong on July 15 they have evidence of criminality around contract given by old board + cause for legal action vs all involved.
"FC Barcelona asked him to annul deal & revert to previous terms."
Man United's offer for De Jong was accepted by the Catalans last month.
However, the 25-year-old Dutchman remained firm on his refusal to join Old Trafford amid the outstanding payments he is owed by Barcelona(reported to be £14.5m) which ultimately stopped the deal from going through.