Chelsea are confident of beating Man United to Frenkie de Jong as they open talks with Barcelona

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Chelsea ‘are confident of beating Man United to Frenkie de Jong’ as they open talks with Barcelona over a £71m deal… with Erik ten Hag set to miss out on his top target despite three-month pursuit

  • Chelsea are reportedly hopeful of beating Manchester United to Frenkie de Jong
  • The Blues are now in talks with the Catalan giants to sign the Holland midfielder
  • The 25-year-old remains the top target for new Man United boss Erik ten Hag

Chelsea are reportedly hopeful of beating Manchester United to sign midfielder Frenkie de Jong this summer after entering talks with Barcelona.

The Blues are willing to match United’s agreed fee of £71 million for the Holland international and can offer De Jong a continuation of Champions League football this season.

United, however, have not given up the pursuit of a player manager Erik ten Hag made the priority signing of his first summer but De Jong is reluctant to move to Old Trafford and play in the Europa League.

Chelsea are in talks with Barcelona over signing midfielder Frenkie de Jong this summer

Chelsea are in talks with Barcelona over signing midfielder Frenkie de Jong this summer

Man United have not given up the pursuit of a player manager Erik ten Hag made his top target

Man United have not given up the pursuit of a player manager Erik ten Hag made his top target

Thomas Tuchel’s side are now in direct talks with the Catalan giants and are optimistic of being able to agree a deal with the 25-year-old, according to The Athletic.

Despite Chelsea’s interest, de Jong is still United’s top transfer target, as new boss ten Hag would like a reunion with his former Ajax midfielder.

The transfer saga has rumbled on for over three months now, but United remain undeterred in their pursuit of the Dutch international.

Thomas Tuchel's side are now in talks with the Catalan giants and are optimistic of a deal

Thomas Tuchel’s side are now in talks with the Catalan giants and are optimistic of a deal

De Jong is still top of United's list, even Erik ten Hag would like a reunion with his former Ajax star

De Jong is still top of United’s list, even Erik ten Hag would like a reunion with his former Ajax star

United are willing to make the Dutch midfielder the club’s highest paid player by matching his current £450,000-a-week salary.

They are also willing to pay the £17 million De Jong is owed by Barcelona in deferred wages, as reported by Sport in Spain.

De Jong has turned down United’s advances so far, despite revealing that he is flattered by their interest, as he is said to be happy at Barcelona.

De Jong has snubbed a move to Manchester so far with the player keen to stay at Barcelona

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The Catalan giants, however, have finances to consider and if they wish to appease LaLiga and register a whole host of new signings, the midfielder would be the logical departure.

The Spanish giants have openly revealed their desire to sell de Jong in order to help them register new summer signings Robert Lewandowski, Raphinha, Franck Kessie, Andreas Christensen, and Jules Kounde.

The holdup in the deal, however, is due to an outstanding amount in the region of £17m in back payments owed to De Jong by Barca after deferring payments on his wages during the pandemic.

Barca want to sell de Jong to help them register new signings including Robert Lewandowski

Barca want to sell de Jong to help them register new signings including Robert Lewandowski

Despite selling off various TV rights and assets to end their summer spending spree, Barcelona don’t have the money to pay de Jong back. If they did, they wouldn’t be able to register some of their signatures.

Quite rightfully, de Jong wants to be paid what he is owed. Barca would like to keep him, but realize that’s an unlikely scenario, so much so that president Joan Laporta has suggested de Jong should take a drastic pay cut if he really wants to stay.

Barcelona may also prefer not to sell to the Blues with the two clubs currently locked in a transfer war.

Chelsea have moved to block Marcos Alonso’s transfer to Barca after the Catalan club snatched Jules Kounde from under their noses.

Chelsea's relationship with Barcelona is tense after the Spaniards pounced for Jules Kounde

Chelsea’s relationship with Barcelona is tense after the Spaniards pounced for Jules Kounde

The Blues are also said to be reluctant to allow fellow defender Cesar Azpilicueta to complete his move to the Nou Camp in what is becoming an increasingly fractious and complicated set of negotiations.

It comes after Barcelona swooped for £55 million Sevilla defender Kounde even after Chelsea had seen their offer accepted.

Barca had pulled off a similar move to hijack Chelsea’s move to sign Raphinha from Leeds United earlier in the summer.

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