Chelsea have been told they have “no chance” of signing Barcelona midfielder Frenkie de Jong this summer, with the Dutchman labelled “more of a Man Utd buy”.
A recent report from Sport suggests Todd Boehly is ready to make a move for the Barca star in the summer transfer window, despite Chelsea already investing huge sums of money in their midfield engine room.
Indeed, the report suggests the Blues are willing to spend around €100m (£85m) to land the Netherlands international.
However, Liverpool legend Steve Nicol cannot see any scenario in which the Stamford Bridge outfit win the race for De Jong, especially given they already spent big money on Enzo Fernandez, Moises Caicedo and Romeo Lavia.
And he believes if De Jong is to join a Premier League club in the summer, it’s much more likely that he heads to Manchester United.
Asked about Chelsea’s chances of striking a deal for the player, Nicol told ESPN: “No. No, no chance. Absolutely no chance, seems more like a Man United buy. Well, the manager’s Dutch for a start.”
Connecting Erik ten Hag and De Jong does make sense, given that the two know each other from their time together at Ajax.
However, there are no guarantees that the Red Devils boss will still be in charge at Old Trafford beyond the summer, unless United have a strong finish to the current campaign.
Spending another £85m on a midfielder does feel like complete overkill from Chelsea’s point of view and would send a message that are not happy with the options they already have, despite the massive outlay.
Lavia still waiting to make Chelsea impact
Even Lavia could end up costing £58m, which is remarkable given that he has only made one appearance for Chelsea to date.
In fairness, he has been severely hampered by injury problems since his switch to west London. However, after his latest setback, the former Southampton man ensured Blues fans their wait to see him on a full-time basis will be worth it
Lavia posted on X: “Received a lot of support messages and I wanted to let you know that it means a lot to me.
“I’m gutted not to be able to help the team, but I’m fully focused on coming back.
“The wait will be worth it…”
But in terms of De Jong’s future at Barca, there is growing speculation that he could be offloaded to generate funds for a summer arrivals for whoever takes over from Xavi at the Camp Nou.
If that is the case, then Arsenal and Manchester City could also rival Chelsea and United for a midfielder regarded as one of the best in the world.