Chelsea ‘hope to strike De Jong deal’ with talks on to hijack Man Utd move
Chelsea hope to strike a deal with Barcelona for Frenkie de Jong as they look to hijack Manchester United's transfer this summer.
And the Blues are growing optimistic that they can clinch a deal for the Dutchman, who has yet to agree personal terms with the Red Devils. United have an agreement with Barca worth in the region of £65million.
But the midfielder is not so keen on joining a club that has not got Champions League football this season – and might not in the future either. It has allowed other clubs to enter the fray with Chelsea now at the forefront.
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According to The Athletic, the Blues are hopeful that they can beat their Premier League rivals to De Jong's signature and are in direct talks with the Netherlands international over a move. There have been reports that the Barcelona star would prefer a Stamford Bridge switch over Old Trafford.
Barca, meanwhile, would be happy to take the money from either club as they look to bolster their own financial position having already splashed the cash this summer. Robert Lewandowski, Raphinha and Jules Kounde have all joined for big fees despite their well-documented economic troubles.
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The Blaugrana have been urging De Jong to accept United's offer so they can bolster their coffers while that agreement is yet to come. But if Chelsea can cough up the cash instead, Barcelona would have no trouble shaking their hands instead.
However, a move to the Blues would be heartbreaking for Erik ten Hag, who had made De Jong his top target this transfer window. The Red Devils have been chasing his signature all summer in a bid to mark their new manager's arrival with a marquee transfer.
And with days left until the Premier League starts, United still look light in areas including at defensive midfield, right-back and up front. Ten Hag has managed some signings, though, in the form of Christian Eriksen, Tyrell Malacia and Lisandro Martinez.
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