Chelsea is apparently working their way to the front of the queue in the race to sign Frenkie de Jong, having tabled an offer that includes two Blues stars as makeweights.
The Dutch midfielder is in high demand this summer, with Manchester United showing particular interest. Erik ten Hag has made his former Ajax protege his top summer transfer target. However, convincing Barcelona to sell has proven difficult.
Indeed, Barcelona has proven to be an immovable object when it comes to De Jong’s asking price. Attempts by the Red Devils to sign De Jong for a lower initial fee with the remainder made up in bonuses have been thwarted by Barcelona.
As a result, United appears to have decided to meet its expectations, with a sum in the range of £55.9 million (€65 million) appearing close. De Jong, on the other hand, does not appear to be moving quickly. He does not appear to be leaving Barcelona without a fight. That’s not surprising given a report detailing the large sums of money the LaLiga giants owe the player.
All in all, this has been one of Manchester United’s most complicated transfers in recent memory. According to rumors in Spain, they may miss out entirely, with Chelsea seemingly in the driver’s seat.
The Blues are also looking for a new midfielder after saying goodbye to loanee Saul Niguez. Their enthusiasm was first expressed last week. But, with a deal for Raheem Sterling on the horizon, it appears De Jong will be their top priority.
Chelsea has the upper hand in the transfer race.
Chelsea is doing “all in their power,” according to journalist Gerard Romero, to win De Jong’s signature. Revolvo, another Spanish publication, reports Chelsea owner Todd Boehly is bursting onto the scene with a deal.
Furthermore, Chelsea appears to have the upper hand in negotiations over United. This comes amid reports that Barcelona is being offered the option to capture both Marcos Alonso and Cesar Azpilicueta as a sweetener.
This summer, the two Chelsea full-backs have been heavily linked with a move to Barcelona. While no definite information has emerged, the Blues are supposedly giving Barcelona permission to pursue their signings.
Prospective deals for Alonso and Azpilicueta are said to be finalized irrespective of any deal for De Jong. As a result, the Blues will almost certainly match Manchester United’s bid for the midfielder.
Chelsea, on the other hand, can provide two things that will appeal to De Jong: Champions League football and life in London.
United must deal with Frenkie de Jong’s anguish.
Manchester United would suffer a massive setback if they failed to sign De Jong now, after pursuing him all summer.
Ten Hag’s primary aim, who wishes to construct his squad around his compatriot. And, having recognized midfield as a weakness, it would be devastating to see Chelsea sign him at the eleventh hour.
United does expect to complete the signing of Christian Eriksen. However, with the departures of Nemanja Matic, Jesse Lingard, Juan Mata, and Paul Pogba, Ten Hag does have some voids to fill.
Any snub from De Jong might lead to United signing Youri Tielemans instead. The Belgian is up for sale this summer for roughly £30 million and is widely considered one of the Premier League’s top midfielders.