Chelsea are in talks with Barcelona over the transfer of Frenkie de Jong, with the London club now scrambling to find the most likely club to sign the midfielder. Manchester United are currently weighing whether to continue their interest in the signing.
The Old Trafford hierarchy had agreed in principle on a deal with Barcelona a month ago, but the Catalan club have been frustrated with their progress, especially as the player himself has both settled on the issue of €17m in deferred wages and wages has proved tenacious on the fact itself is pushed out.
While there have been repeated claims from Spain, most notably that he does not want to go to United, there is a strong belief at Old Trafford that he is ready to come.
De Jong has of course spoken to and is close to his former Ajax manager Erik ten Hag, but that can be trumped by the fact that Chelsea are a London-based club in the Champions League. United were practically embroiled in a club-player spat but Barcelona were now becoming increasingly aware that time was running out to get players off the books and register signings.
The Independent It has been said that although United have long believed the transfer could go ahead, Barcelona expect De Jong to be gone by now. That’s why Barcelona have stepped up talks with Chelsea and there are hopes something can be done more quickly, including resolving the standoff over deferred wages.
De Jong was of course mentioned in talks between the two clubs about possible deals for the likes of Cesar Azpilicueta and Marcos Alonso, and Todd Boehly and Joan Laporta spoke directly about the Dutch midfielder over their dinner.
Talks have reached a new level in recent days as Barcelona look to speed up the 25-year-old’s exit. Chelsea are currently pursuing three deals in De Jong, Leicester City’s Wesley Fofana and Brighton and Hove Albion’s Marc Cucurella.
Completing the signings could cost them around £200m and they would then need to be sure they can sack players. Barcelona would be a willing recipient of Alonso and Azpilicueta and there’s a growing feeling a deal can be struck.
https://www.independent.co.uk/sport/football/chelsea-transfers-de-jong-manchester-united-b2137415.html Chelsea challenge Manchester United for Frenkie de Jong after opening talks with Barcelona