Manchester United

Manchester United

Premier League • England

Frenkie de Jong: Man Utd suffer double blow, with Chelsea to axe two to test new Barcelona stance

Barcelona midfielder Frenkie de Jong

Barcelona’s president has publicly stated his desire to retain Frenkie de Jong, while a report claims Chelsea are mobilising on a plan to oust Man Utd from the mix.

The 25-year-old Dutchman has emerged as Manchester United’s priority transfer target this summer. Frenkie de Jong is viewed as the man to lead Erik ten Hag’s midfield. A basic agreement in principle worth an initial £56m was reportedly forged regarding the fee, though there remained work to be done regarding the additional payments, payment structure and personal terms.

Barcelona’s financial strife has been well documented. The Daily Mail report they have free agent pick-ups for Franck Kessie and Andreas Christensen lined up, though can’t register either player until their wage bill is lowered.

Those issues were believed to be a factor that could aid United’s cause over De Jong. However, according to Barca’s president, Joan Laporta, the LaLiga giant have a new-found resolve to keep their midfielder.

“There are clubs that want him, not just Manchester United,” said Laporta (via the Daily Mail). “We have no intention of selling him, he wants to stay.

“Frenkie is considered as one of the best midfielders in the world by all the experts. We are happy to have him.”

Of course, Laporta’s statement could simply be posturing. Though that tactic would usually be with a view to raising the transfer fee and reports claim that part of the deal is already agreed.

Regardless, Laporta did acknowledge his club’s financial issues – specifically regarding the wage bill – and that could give United hope.

“I’m going to do everything I can in my power so that Frenkie stays here, but there’s also a salary issue and that would have to be adjusted,” concluded Laporta.

Chelsea pair under threat by Frenkie de Jong

But should Man Utd fail to snare the midfield maestro, the Guardian are hot on the idea of Chelsea hijacking the move.

The Blues can offer Champions League football and are capable of matching any wages United can table.

The newspaper previously reported Chelsea are willing to match United regarding the transfer fee too. Now, they’ve provided a fresh update on who could make way to clear the path for De Jong.

The Guardian report one of Jorginho or N’Golo Kante could be the fall guys.

Both players have just one year remaining on their contracts and are both the wrong side of 30. Jorginho has drawn links with Juventus and the report reaffirms Turin as a possible destination.

Kante, meanwhile, is touted alongside a surprise move to Old Trafford where he has plenty of admirers.

Chelsea are deemed to be monitoring De Jong’s developments closely and could pounce if Man Utd’s move breaks down.