The Dutch midfielder was embroiled in a wage dispute with the Catalan giants this summer as the club tried to balance his books.
Barcelona gave De Jong an ultimatum to leave the club or take a huge pay cut after claiming the contract he signed in 2020 was illegal.
Fees have already been agreed with Manchester United and Chelsea but the former Ajax star is refusing to go unless he is paid the £14million in deferred wages owed to him.
And Lineker, who played for Barca between 1986 and 1989, said: “I feel a little bit about Frenkie.
“He’s been treated a bit like a piece of meat about this whole thing because of circumstances that are completely out of his control.
“He’s a gifted young player and it’s very important for him that he doesn’t go somewhere he doesn’t want to go.
“In that respect, he has the playing cards in his hand.
“He must be pretty strong. it’s so strange
“Barcelona seem to want him, but something has to give way and it just seems a shame it’s ending like this.”
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Barcelona are in financial turmoil after having to sell assets to register their signings.
Robert Lewandowski, Franck Kessie and Andreas Christensen were all signed to La Liga just hours before their first game of the season.
But despite the circus, La Liga TV host Lineker believes his old club can win the title if their financial gamble pays off.
Lineker, 61, added: “I have a feeling Barca can do it.
“It was a little bit all over the place but they managed to get some top players.
“Eventually Real Madrid will overdo it with their great players.
“Modric, Benzema and Kroos are all in their mid-30s and eventually fatherhood will catch up with them.
“It’s a gamble what Barcelona did, but it could pay off.
“They were in a dangerous position and only had two options.
“They could have softened and hoped the money would come from ticket sales, but they went that route.
“It might implode, but hopefully not.”
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https://www.the-sun.com/sport/6012167/gary-lineker-barcelona-frenkie-de-jong-treatment/ Barcelona are treating Frenkie de Jong like a ‘piece of MEAT’, slams Lineker amid Man Utd and Chelsea transfer interest