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Chelsea 'could move for Frenkie de Jong if Manchester United transfer collapses'

Chelsea 'could move for De Jong if Man United transfer collapses'
© Reuters
Chelsea could reportedly try to sign Barcelona midfielder Frenkie de Jong if the 25-year-old's proposed switch to Manchester United falls through.

Chelsea could reportedly try to steal Frenkie de Jong from under Manchester United's noses if the Dutchman's proposed move to Old Trafford falls through.

Erik ten Hag is determined to reunite with his former Ajax starlet at the Theatre of Dreams three years after the duo reached the semi-finals of the 2018-19 Champions League.

De Jong has been Man United's primary target for the entire window so far, but the 20-time English champions initially struggled to agree a fee with Barcelona.

However, Man United are now said to have reached a "broad agreement" with La Blaugrana for the sale of De Jong, who will cost the Red Devils €65m (£56.2m) plus performance-related add-ons.

The deal is yet to be finalised, though, as De Jong is yet to put pen to paper on his contract amid suggestions that he does not want to leave Camp Nou for Old Trafford.

Manchester United head coach Erik ten Hag on May 22, 2022© Reuters

A spanner could also be thrown into the works late on, as The Guardian claims that Chelsea could try to lure De Jong to the capital should his move to Man United fall through.

The report contradicts previous claims and states that De Jong is open to joining Ten Hag's side, and Barcelona are prepared to cash in given their desperate need to raise funds.

Man United are unable to offer Champions League football, though, and Chelsea - who will be in Europe's top tier next term - could take advantage of De Jong's yearning for the competition.

The Netherlands international has 13 goals and 17 assists to boast from 139 games in a Barcelona shirt so far, including four strikes and five assists from 46 outings last season.

De Jong has only won one Copa del Rey during his time at Barcelona, who already have a ready-made replacement in the form of Franck Kessie, as the Ivorian prepares to join on a free transfer from AC Milan.

Chelsea head coach Thomas Tuchel during the 3-0 win against Leeds United on May 11, 2022.© Reuters

Chelsea boss Thomas Tuchel is said to be an admirer of De Jong, as the Blues face an uncertain midfield situation heading into the 2022-23 season amid Jorginho and N'Golo Kante's expiring deals.

The duo have both entered the final 12 months of their contracts, while Saul Niguez has returned to Atletico Madrid, but Conor Gallagher will be competing for opportunities in the engine room.

De Jong could represent a cheaper alternative to Declan Rice, who West Ham United insist is not for sale, but Tuchel is currently attempting to wrap up big-money deals for attacking pair Raheem Sterling and Raphinha.

Defensive improvements are also a priority for the current window, with Andreas Christensen and Antonio Rudiger departing on free transfers, while Cesar Azpilicueta and Marcos Alonso could yet join them.

Chelsea are allegedly attempting to prise Matthijs de Ligt away from Juventus but are also keeping a close eye on Paris Saint-Germain's Presnel Kimpembe, who would not command De Ligt's £103m release clause.

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Paris Saint-Germain's Presnel Kimpembe pictured during a press conference in October 2021
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