Barcelona star Frenkie de Jong ‘to leave next week’ but won’t be sealing Man Utd transfer

De Jong quizzed on Man Utd transfer links in June

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Barcelona are likely to offload Frenkie de Jong next week, it has been claimed. But though Manchester United have spent a quarter of a year chasing the Netherlands international, he’s reportedly likelier to end up at Chelsea instead. That would be a severe blow for Erik ten Hag, who is still hopeful a deal can be struck before the transfer window shuts on September 1.

Manchester United have spent 12 weeks pursuing De Jong, emboldened by his good relationship with Ten Hag – with the duo previously working together at Ajax.

But, still, there’s no end to the saga in sight.

In recent days, it’s emerged United aren’t the only team in for De Jong. Chelsea are also eyeing the Netherlands international, believing Champions League football can help entice the midfielder into moving to Stamford Bridge.

And Spanish journalist Gerard Romero, speaking on his Twitch channel, has claimed De Jong is ‘likely to leave next week’.

Barcelona need the cash from his potential sale so they can register new recruits such as Robert Lewandowski, Raphinha, Jules Kounde, Andreas Christensen and Franck Kessie.

They’re also intending to pursue Manchester City playmaker Bernardo Silva, who is open to leaving the Etihad Stadium for the Nou Camp within the next few weeks.

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Romero also adds that De Jong is now ‘probably going to join Chelsea’ instead of United.

And that would be a nightmare for the Red Devils, who have been linked with five other players in case their pursuit of the Barcelona star fails to pay off.

Declan Rice and Jude Bellingham both have admirers within the club, having sparkled at West Ham and Borussia Dortmund respectively last year.

But with United not in a position to offer the pair Champions League football, it seems any sagas involving the duo would have to wait another year.

United contemplated signing Ruben Neves from Wolves last summer, with Ole Gunnar Solskjaer believed to be an admirer of the Portugal international.

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Wolves have since made it clear they’d only consider offers for their prized asset in the region of £100million, a fee that would likely be too high for their Premier League rivals to pay.

However, United could still try and strike a deal to ensure they’re not left short in the middle of the park for the upcoming campaign.

A fourth option is Lazio powerhouse Sergej Milinkovic-Savic, who netted 11 Serie A goals from 37 appearances under Maurizio Sarri last term.

He was also on Jose Mourinho’s radar during his spell in the Old Trafford dugout, with the Portuguese wanting the Serbia international to replace Paul Pogba in 2018.

Ultimately, a move didn’t happen that summer with Pogba also staying put.

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However, United are thought to be among his admirers and could try and snap him up should they fail in their quest to secure De Jong’s signature.

And a fifth and final alternative is Leicester’s Youri Tielemans, who has just a year left on his contract at the King Power Stadium.

Arsenal also admire the Belgium international, though, and could be an obstacle when it comes to any potential deal being done.

Meanwhile, regarding De Jong, former Tottenham manager Harry Redknapp has claimed he ‘knows for a fact’ the Barcelona star wants to join Chelsea over United.

“Now it looks like De Jong wants to go to Chelsea, I know that for a fact, he wants to go to Chelsea,” he said.

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“Man United are not going to get him.

“I’ve had that from somebody right at the very, very, very top at Man United, he’s made up [his mind], he really wants to go to Chelsea.

“So if he goes to Chelsea, and Man United don’t get him, I don’t know where they’re going and if Chelsea get him obviously he’ll be a fantastic signing for them.”

United have signed three players so far in the forms of Tyrell Malacia, Lisandro Martinez and Christian Eriksen.

And the trio could all be involved when they lock horns with Brighton in their Premier League opener on Sunday (2pm).

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