Chelsea to rival Manchester United for Frenkie de Jong

Frenkie de Jong-Barcelona

Chelsea are reportedly ready to make an offer for Manchester United’s number one target Frenkie de Jong.

According to reports in Spain, the Blues want to sign the Barcelona midfielder and are willing to match United’s agreed fee of £71million.

They can also offer De Jong a continuation of Champions League football this season which is thought to be another factor that they intend to use to their advantage. 

De Jong remains Manchester United’s primary target this summer despite being reluctant to move to Old Trafford. The Red Devils have not given up the pursuit of the player, and according to recent reports, manager Erik ten Hag instructed the club to do everything possible to bring him to Old Trafford. 

But the Holland international is reluctant to move to Old Trafford and play in the Europa League.

According to Spanish newspaper Diario Sport via Sportsmail, Chelsea will imminently make a formal offer for De Jong, who has been on their radar for most of the summer.

According to the Spanish paper, new Chelsea owner Todd Boehly met with Barcelona president Joan Laporta in early July to discuss a deal for De Jong. The Blues have asked for permission to negotiate with De Jong directly but little happened in the interim.

This is partly because of the tensions that developed between Chelsea and Barcelona over the transfer of Raphinha and Jules Kounde as well as the sale of defenders Cesar Azpilicueta and Marcos Alonso to Barca.

Thomas Tuchel is reluctant to allow Azpilicueta and Alonso to leave for the Nou Camp until more defensive reinforcements were brought in.

Meanwhile, United remain keen on De Jong and are reportedly willing to make him their highest-paid player by matching his current £450,000-a-week salary. They are also willing to pay the £17m De Jong is owed by Barcelona in deferred wages.