Transfer Talk: Blues set to derail United's De Jong pursuit
Chelsea are ready to hijack Manchester United’s move for Barcelona midfielder Frenkie de Jong.
United’s pursuit of the Dutch international, 25, has been one of the sagas of the summer with the Red Devils appearing certain to land their man in recent weeks.
However, despite Barca’s willingness to sell and a £67million fee supposedly being agreed between clubs, finalising personal terms has proved challenging.
De Jong had no intention of leaving the Camp Nou and has been left unimpressed by Barca’s conduct during negotiations.
He also holds doubts over a move to Old Trafford — and Spanish outlet Sport say Chelsea will now look to take advantage of that reluctance by launching their own bid.
The Blues have added Manchester City winger Raheem Sterling and Napoli defender Kalidou Koulibaly to their ranks this window but have otherwise endured a frustrating time of things.
Yet new owner Todd Boehly is desperate to back his manager Thomas Tuchel and once deals have been finalised for further defensive targets, he is keen to plot a raid for Barca’s No21.
De Jong is extremely reluctant to miss out on Champions League football next term, suggesting the West Londoners would hold an advantage in that regard.
He is also thought to prefer the idea of living in the English capital compared to Manchester, though United are not throwing in the towel just yet.
Financially, they are willing to meet the demands of both Barca and De Jong with new boss Erik ten Hag making clear his admiration for his countryman, who he worked with at Ajax.
Should either United or Chelsea prise the midfielder away from Catalonia, the Blaugrana will turn their attentions to Manchester City star Bernardo Silva.
In other news
Having seen an offer for James Maddison rebuffed last week, Newcastle are ready to make a £35m move for his Leicester team-mate Harvey Barnes according to the Daily Mail.
The Times claim Everton are continuing to push hard on a move to bring Idrissa Gueye back to Goodison Park — the Senegalese midfielder having left Merseyside to join Paris Saint-Germain in 2019.
Roberto Firmino is catching the eye of Italian giants Juventus according to the Liverpool Echo, though the Brazilian forward supposedly has no intention of departing Anfield.