As reported by Telegraph reporter Mike McGrath, midfielder Frenkie de Jong has decided to prioritize Chelsea over Manchester United if he is to leave Barcelona in the summer.
De Jong, 25, has been on Manchester United’s radar for weeks, but given the complicated situation at hand, neither United nor Chelsea have been able to agree personal terms with the player.
The Red Devils had an agreement in place with Barcelona for long but given their absence in the UEFA Champions League, they were unable to convince the midfielder to become their new signing.
It’s clear that Barcelona are not ruling out de Jong’s departure as they understand his exit would free up significant space in terms of finances. At the same time, however, they know they also owe more than €17 million as part of the deferred wages that he took during the COVID-19 pandemic.
On top of that, there also remain some unpaid bonuses that he is yet to receive as part of his ongoing contract that runs until 2026.
Chelsea made a late entry into the foray, but they do have an advantage over Manchester United since they are better suited to challenge for four top and will also have Champions League football to show for it.
The Blues, despite losing two of their first-team defenders in Andreas Christensen and Antonio Rudiger, have made some heavy recruitment under the new owner Todd Boehly, with Kalidou Koulibaly, Raheem Sterling, and Marc Cucurella all arriving.
McGrath writes that Chelsea boss Thomas Tuchel is looking to add one more player, and Frenkie de Jong suits the bill to perfection. It must also be noted that they are also in talks to bring Pierre-Emerick Aubamyang back to the Premier League.
But for now, the focus could move on de Jong if he is, in fact, willing to make the switch in the final weeks of the summer transfer window.