Barcelona offer new contract to superstar as a lifeline and ultimatum: Reports 

Barcelona have reportedly offered midfielder Frenkie de Jong a new contract but with a reduced salary.

The former Ajax man – who is contracted with Camp Nou till 2026 – is the highest earner at the club, whose financial difficulties have been well-documented. His new deal would see him an extended stay beyond 2026 but on lesser wages.

If De Jong refuses the offer, the reigning La Liga champs may look to put him on the transfer list in the summer to reduce their salary space and increase their budget to spend. That’s as per Barca Network (via Sport).

The 26-year-old has been a key player for Xavi’s side, scoring once in 23 games across competitions, starting every time. Overall, De Jong has 16 goals and 21 assists in 206 games across competitions since arriving in the summer of 2019 from Ajax.

Barca, meanwhile, have struggled this season under outgoing manager Xavi. Having lost the Supercopa Espana final to Real Madrid and bowing out of the Copa del Rey (to Athletic Bilbao) in the quarterfinals, a 3-3 home La Liga draw with Granada left them 10 points off leaders Real Madrid with 14 games to go.

With their league title defence all but over, the UEFA Champions League – where they play Napoli in the Round of 16 – is their only realistic hope of silverware this season. Barca haven’t won the competition in nine years, though.

What’s next for Barcelona?

Barcelona boss Xavier Hernandez” width=”1920″>
Barcelona boss Xavier Hernandez

Following their high-scoring draw with Granada – where the teenaged Lamine Yamal opened and closed the scoring – Barcelona travel to Celta Vigo in La Liga on Saturday (February 17).

Having won thrice in their last five league outings, Xavi’s side will seek a prompt return to winning ways as they look to close the gap on Los Blancos. Following the Celta game, Barca travel to Napoli four days later in the Champions League.

The Blaugrana finished above second-placed Porto in their group because of a better head-to-head record after slumping to a 3-2 defeat at previously winless Royal Antwerp.

Edited by Bhargav

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