De Jong quizzed on Man Utd transfer links
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Chelsea have reportedly told Barcelona they will bid for Frenkie de Jong. The Netherlands international is Manchester United’s top transfer target but, while a fee for the player has been agreed, the midfielder is reluctant to move to Old Trafford. However, now, a sensational move to Stamford Bridge could be on the cards.
De Jong has made it abundantly clear, both publicly and privately, that he wants to stay at Barcelona.
But with the La Liga giants needing to raise funds and decrease the size of their squad so they can register the likes of Andreas Christensen, Franck Kessie, Robert Lewandowski, Jules Kounde and Raphinha, they’re eager to get the midfielder off the wage bill.
Until this point, United have been the team most interested in acquiring De Jong.
Yet Sport claim Chelsea have now informed Barcelona they, too, will be presenting an offer for the Netherlands international.
The two clubs are currently in dialogue anyway, with Barcelona keen to land Blues pair Cesar Azpilicueta and Marcos Alonso.
And Chelsea have let their La Liga counterparts know they’re keen to sign De Jong, especially given the uncertainty over N’Golo Kante’s long-term future.
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Thomas Tuchel’s team know they must match the money United are prepared to pay, with the Red Devils agreeing an overall package worth £72m with Barcelona.
And it’ll now be interesting to see what unfolds.
It’s said Chelsea will have to convince De Jong due to his determination to stay at Barcelona, the club he dreamed of playing for as a young child.
He’s said to ‘feel the pressure’ that’s currently on him, with Barcelona even using the midfielder as a centre-back during pre-season so far.
But Chelsea feel they’ll be able to broker a deal.
De Jong would be willing to live in London, instead of Manchester, and he’d also be able to play in the Champions League if he moves to Stamford Bridge.
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United, for their part, are yet to throw in the towel.
Yet De Jong isn’t interested in reuniting with Erik ten Hag, it’s claimed, with the former Ajax star unconvinced due to the club’s plight since Sir Alex Ferguson’s retirement in 2013.
At Barcelona, they’re hoping Chelsea’s offer will ‘shake’ De Jong and his entourage into life.
They may even be able to get more money for the 25-year-old, with United and Chelsea set to be embroiled in a bidding war.
And if De Jong does go, it’s stated Barcelona will use the money on a deal for Manchester City playmaker Bernardo Silva.
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Bernardo has been a key figure at the Etihad Stadium under Pep Guardiola, winning four Premier League titles during his time in England.
But he’s believed to be open to joining Barcelona, with the lure of playing at the Nou Camp simply too tough to turn down.
Speaking recently, meanwhile, Gabriel Agbonlahor recently stated the 25-year-old should move to Chelsea – instead of United.
He said on talkSPORT: “I’ve been talking about Manchester United not being as much of a pull for a while now and their fans don’t like it. They can’t handle the straight facts.
“De Jong, if he’s leaving Barcelona, he does not want to go to Manchester United. There are quotes that have come out that he would rather Bayern Munich, he would rather Chelsea.
“Because if I’m choosing a team in the Premier League and I’ve got the chance of Chelsea or Manchester United, I’m choosing Chelsea.
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“I’m in London, I’ve got Thomas Tuchel who’s won the Champions League recently, you’re playing Champions League football this season, you’ve got a better squad of players.
“Manchester United have got [Cristiano] Ronaldo who doesn’t want to be there, he’s not turned up for pre-season.
“You’ve got players that aren’t performing. You’ve lost top players like [Paul] Pogba.
“They’ve got problems and it’s going to take them a while to get a chance of winning the Premier League or the Champions League.
“Does De Jong want to go from Barcelona, who will be playing Champions League football, to Manchester United, who aren’t going to be?”
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