Ten Hag devastated as Boehly readies €100m Chelsea move for elite Man Utd target

Frenkie de Jong, Chelsea chief Todd Boehly

Chelsea chief Todd Boehly is spying a raid on Barcelona

Erik ten Hag and Manchester United may have to come up against one of their most well-known transfer targets next season, with Chelsea reportedly preparing a blockbuster move for Barcelona ace Frenkie de Jong.

In the summer of 2022, Ten Hag pushed Man Utd hard to try and bring in De Jong, whom he struck up a great relationship with while working as Ajax manager. The Red Devils eventually managed to strike an agreement with Barca, but the Netherlands star did not want to make the switch.

Instead, Man Utd went on to spend an initial £60million – plus a further £10m in potential add-ons – on Real Madrid’s Casemiro. While De Jong would have helped Ten Hag instil a playing style of gradually building up from the back, Casemiro is more focused on regaining possession for Man Utd before passing the ball to a creator such as Bruno Fernandes.

Despite missing out on De Jong’s capture previously, Ten Hag remains a huge fan of the 26-year-old and he would love it if Sir Jim Ratcliffe greenlighted another offer for him this summer. However, Man Utd are at serious risk of missing out on the deal.

On Saturday, it emerged that Man Utd’s English rivals Chelsea, Arsenal and Manchester City are all planning to begin talks for De Jong’s signing.

Those three clubs have been alerted to the possibility of landing De Jong amid claims he has performed a U-turn on his Barca future and is now willing to leave.

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Spanish newspaper Mundo Deportivo have now provided an update on the situation. They state that Chelsea are the Premier League club pushing hardest to complete a deal with Barca, as Blues co-owner Todd Boehly is ready to ‘pay a lot of money’ for De Jong.

Barca want to extend the playmaker’s contract beyond 2026, but he has so far been unwilling to enter discussions. As such, the Spanish giants are willing to sell if a huge €100m (£85m) bid arrives this summer.

Man Utd target could move to Chelsea

Barca feel this massive price tag is justified by the fact De Jong is generally considered one of the best deep-lying midfielders in the world. Although, the price tag has not put Chelsea off, as they have shown on several occasions in the past they are willing to spend huge money to sign top players.

De Jong could arrive at Stamford Bridge this summer alongside some other big names, too. Chelsea are leading the charge for Napoli’s Victor Osimhen, who has a £111m release clause, while the Blues are also rivalling Arsenal for Athletic Club winger Nico Williams.

Rival Premier League fans will be wondering how Chelsea can afford to sign these players without breaking Financial Fair Play rules, after having spent over £1bn under Boehly already. But on Tuesday, journalist Ben Jacobs revealed the huge sums Chelsea can part with this summer if they sell five players.