Chelsea are willing to pay what Barcelona want for Frenkie de Jong, and transfer guru Fabrizio Romano has revealed what will decide the Man Utd target’s fate.
The future of Frenkie de Jong is undeniably the No 1 transfer saga of the summer. Man Utd’s pursuit has spanned more than 13 weeks, while Chelsea’s interest only firmed up in August.
Barcelona have publicly stated their desire to retain De Jong on multiple occasions. However, they are unable to register several of their new signings and that reality is about to hit home.
Indeed, free agent pick-ups, Andreas Christensen and Franck Kessie, could both leave for nothing on Saturday if not registered before the LaLiga campaign begins this weekend, per ESPN.
That’s led to a renewed belief Barcelona will give the green light to several high profile exits in the coming days, including Blues target Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, as well as De Jong.
The issue of deferred wages is a particularly sore spot for the 25-year-old. De Jong agreed to push back a sizeable chunk of his salary during the Covid pandemic to help Barcelona out.
He is now owed around £17m and there have been suggestions Barcelona are asking suitors to take the deferred salary on.
Regardless, writing for Caught Offside, transfer guru Fabrizio Romano has suggested a resolution to the long-running transfer saga could be on the horizon.
Chelsea to meet Barcelona demands
Firstly, Romano reaffirmed Man Utd have held an agreement over the transfer fee with Barcelona since July. A deal worth around £63.4m plus a further £8.4m in add-ons is on the table.
But Chelsea are now reportedly ‘prepared to pay what Barcelona want’ for De Jong. Whether that would include absorbing the deferred wages into other aspects of the deal isn’t clear, though the Blues clearly mean business nonetheless.
Romano then stated that if De Jong is pushed out by Barcelona, the deciding factor in where he lands will be the player himself.
That indicates Barcelona are not fussed which club they sell to. It also suggests Man Utd and Chelsea’s offers will be practically the same.
Romano termed the situation as the decision on who to join being ‘up to the player himself’. The fact Chelsea can offer Champions League football could swing matters their way.
Regardless, Romano stressed Man Utd will ‘try until the end’. Given they have already plundered 13 weeks of effort into the move, there is little sense in giving up now.
What does Frenkie de Jong want?
The player’s preference thus far has been widely reported to be remaining where he is in Spain.
De Jong is settled in the city of Barcelona. Furthermore, despite the chaos surrounding the club, their squad has been strengthened mightily this summer.
Romano noted De Jong’s desire to stay is understandable. Indeed, after three years of struggles that have produced just one major trophy, Barca now look primed to challenge for top honours once again.
If he is forced out, it seems certain either Stamford Bridge or Old Trafford will be his next destination.
Both Chelsea and United are capable of matching or even raising the lofty salary he is on at Barca.
As such, Chelsea will be relying on the pull of London and UCL football. United’s hopes will rest with their global appeal and the presence of fellow countryman, Erik ten Hag.