Frenkie de Jong has been Erik ten Hag’s No.1 transfer target throughout the summer, but after failing to cut a deal with Barcelona, have now been usurped by Premier League rivals Chelsea
Chelsea have made a sensational move to hijack Frenkie de Jong’s move to Manchester United.
Blues chiefs have made contact with Barcelona and held discussions with de Jong’s representatives and are now strong contenders to sign him from under United’s noses. United remain keen on de Jong and are definitely not giving up but the potential deal has become a long-running saga which has been held up by an ugly £15million stand-off.
Holland star de Jong is still owed £15m in deferred wages after agreeing to take a pay cut in the pandemic and Barcelona have refused to pay the money back and the ex-Ajax midfielder has refused to back down. Barcelona are facing major financial issues and need to offload players before they can register new players and Chelsea ’s fresh interest is threatening United’s attempts to sign him.
Frenkie de Jong is admired by both Man Utd and Chelsea ( Image: Getty Images)
United boss Erik ten Hag worked with de Jong at Ajax and is desperate to link up with him again. United are prepared to pay £64m to take him to Old Trafford but have yet to reach an agreement.
Chelsea’s new owner Todd Boehly is clearly ready to blow rivals out of the window to strengthen his squad after missing out on previous targets like Raphinha and Jules Kounde. They look ready to try and do a deal with de Jong and Barcelona to strengthen their midfield still further and now the competition could force United’s hand to either put up or shut up.
United believe de Jong is ready to come and the hold-up has been over the £15m rather than a reluctance to move to Manchester but Barcelona are in a hurry to get the deal done.
City were refusing to pay over £40m but now Chelsea are hopeful of clinching a deal and Boehly is clearly ready to show ambition.
They also want Leicester defender Wesley Fofana and, despite the Foxes insisting he is not for sale, they are refusing to give up.