Manchester United have already signed Tyrell Malacia, Christian Eriksen and Lisandro Martinez this summer, and have continued to be linked with several other players as well. Amidst all the rumours though, the player who has appeared to be their top target is Frenkie de Jong of Barcelona.
It is not hard to understand why that might be the case either. The Dutch midfielder played his best football under the management of Erik ten Hag and was a key part of the Ajax team which managed to reach the Champions League semi-finals some years back.
Thus, it appears that Ten Hag is keen on a reunion. But on the other hand, it does not look like De Jong is convinced by the idea of a move to Manchester United, if rumours are accurate. The club cannot offer him Champions League football this season and on top of that, they have not really challenged for the Premier League in almost a decade now.
And now, Manchester United appear to have been handed another major blow in their quest to sign De Jong. As reported by The Athletic, Chelsea are in direct talks with Barcelona to sign De Jong.
Chelsea are in direct talks to sign long-term Manchester United transfer target
Suggestions in the Spanish media have been that De Jong is more keen on a move to Chelsea than to Manchester United, if he did ultimately end up leaving Barcelona this summer.
Thus, Chelsea being in talks with Barcelona for De Jong is bad news for Manchester United and their chances of signing him.
At this point of time, it does feel like Barcelona are very much open to the idea of letting De Jong leave and this could play into Chelsea’s hands as well. Let’s see how things unfold over the coming weeks.