Chelsea ‘prepare formal offer’ for Barcelona’s Frenkie de Jong as Man Utd struggle to seal deal

Manchester United could be gazumped by Premier League rivals Chelsea in the race to sign Barcelona midfielder Frenkie de Jong, with the Blues reportedly ready to bid for him.

Chelsea are reportedly “preparing a formal offer” for Barcelona midfielder Frenkie de Jong.

The Dutch midfielder has emerged as Premier League rivals Manchester United’s number one summer transfer target with new boss Erik ten Hag hoping to reunite with the player he managed at Ajax. But with United failing to qualify for the Champions League this season, it appears De Jong is not so keen on making the move to Old Trafford and Chelsea could be about to swoop in and beat them to his signature.

Reports have claimed United agreed a transfer fee that could rise to around £72million with Barcelona last week, but De Jong’s reluctance to join the Old Trafford side is holding up the deal. United Chief Executive Richard Arnold and Director of Football John Murtagh both travelled to Barcelona last week but left empty-handed having failed to finalise an agreement with De Jong to move to the Red Devils.

READ MORE: Chelsea’s next major priority after summer transfers revealed as Todd Boehly tackles key issue

It comes despite Barca pushing for the player to leave in order to help resolve their ongoing financial issues. The Catalan giants want him to accept a pay cut or leave the club, but De Jong is under no obligation to do either and has described Barca as his “dream club”.

But the opportunity to play for a side capable of winning titles could be a lot more tempting for De Jong, and Chelsea are now said to “have expressed their firm desire to sign him”. That’s according to fresh reports coming out of Spain, hinting that the Blues could be set to gazump United to the player’s signature.

According to Spanish news outlet Relevo, “Barcelona already know that Chelsea are preparing a formal proposal for Frenkie de Jong – they have expressed their firm desire to sign him in the last few hours. A move to Manchester United doesn’t seduce the player, neither sportingly nor personally.” (Football London)

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