Chelsea have opened talks with Barcelona over a deal to sign Frenkie de Jong in a potentially devastating blow for Manchester United. The Red Devils have spent the best part of 12 weeks working on a deal for the Dutchman but to no avail and the Blues have now entered the fray as they look to entice Barcelona into a sale.
United already have a £72million deal in place but De Jong has continuously snubbed a move to Old Trafford and reunion with former boss Erik ten Hag.
Chelsea are now starting to probe though and there’s confidence De Jong would be open to a move to Stamford Bridge, where Champions League football is on offer.
According to The Athletic, the Blues have now opened talks over a deal for the 25-year-old as they continue their excessive summer spending.
Chelsea have already splashed the cash on Kalidou Koulibaly, Raheem Sterling, Carney Chukwuemeka (pending medical), Gabriel Slonina from Chicago Fire this summer but Thomas Tuchel is not stopping there.
He has continuously been pushed towards the door and a move to Manchester United, despite the club declaring they intend to keep him at Camp Nou.
President Joan Laporta recently outlined his desire to keep hold of the Dutchman, although there’s an acceptance he may have to slash his wages to remain at Barcelona.
Laporta said: “The first thing to say is we want Frenkie to stay at Barcelona. We love the player and him as a human being. I want him to stay at Barcelona. He’s a high-quality player and a good guy. I also know that he wants to stay.
“All we are doing with Frenkie is the same as the rest of the squad. The signings coming in have adjusted their salary to the new structure. But Frenkie has a contract and we respect that. We can’t force him to take a pay cut. It’s his decision
“We are trying to manage the football club in a prudent and sustainable way. So we have to have these talks and we do so in a calm and considered way. We have explained the situation and are grateful to any players who can help us.
“It was the same with Ousmane Dembele and I am very grateful to him. And after months of talks, he accepted a renegotiation of his salary and he can be proud of his decision.”
Chelsea have also tabled a whopping bid worth over £50m for Brighton full-back Marc Cucurella.
The Blues are currently the most active club in the Premier League as they continue to ramp up their search for new signings ahead of the 2022/23 campaign.