Chelsea ‘want to sign Frenkie de Jong’s best mate’ to pip Man Utd to Barcelona transfer | Football | Sport

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Chelsea may look to use Frenkie de Jong’s ‘best friend’ in their bid to hijack Manchester United‘s deal for the Barcelona midfielder. The Blues are currently pushing to sign Juventus centre-back Matthijs de Ligt, who himself is thought to be keen on reuniting with former Ajax pal De Jong – a player who is also understood to be on the Thomas Tuchel‘s radar.

Despite United having reportedly agreed a fee in the region of £56million plus add-ons with Barcelona for the Dutch midfielder, the cash-strapped Catalan club’s president Joan Laporta has since declared the La Liga giants have “no intention” of selling De Jong this summer. The Spanish chief added that the player himself is determined to stay with the Nou Camp club.

According to the Guardian, Chelsea are understood to be monitoring developments between United and De Jong, and could target the 25-year-old if his planned move to Old Trafford falls through. Spanish outlet Sport are now insisting the Blues may look to two factors in order to convince the Barcelona midfielder to head to Stamford Bridge instead.

One of those is exploiting his friendship connections within football to their advantage. Chelsea are currently working on a deal to sign Juventus centre-back De Ligt – a player who is thought to be one of De Jong’s ‘best friends in football’.

READ MORE: Man Utd stung by Frenkie de Jong update as Barcelona chief casts doubt on ‘agreement’

Should the Blues capture the defender, it has been speculated that they may seek to use the Netherlands internationals’ presence to their advantage by hoping he can tempt De Jong to join him in west London. De Ligt is understood to be eager to play alongside his close friend at club level once again, having enjoyed great success together at Ajax.

It is thought Tuchel’s side could also use the lure of Champions League football next season to persuade the midfielder to choose them over United. Playing in Europe’s elite club competition is reportedly high up on De Jong’s list of priorities and is not something the Red Devils can offer next campaign.

On Saturday, Laporta confirmed several clubs were interested in signing the midfielder this summer, however the Barcelona president revealed he would do “everything” in his power to prevent the former Ajax star from departing in the current window. Addressing De Jong’s future, Laporta admitted: “There are many clubs that want him, not just Manchester United.

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