Chelsea are closing in on a deal to sign Frenkie de Jong from Barcelona with the two clubs nearing an agreement on a fee for the midfielder.
De Jong’s future has dominated the transfer headlines this summer with Chelsea and Manchester United having both chased a deal for the Dutchman, with the latter having made the 25-year-old their number one transfer target.
Erik ten Hag had made the signing of the former Ajax midfielder his priority this summer, but De Jong has been reluctant to join United given their current struggle to compete for major trophies and absence from the Champions League.
Chelsea have now made their move and the Times are reporting that the Blues are closing in on an agreement believed to be worth £67.3m.
The ongoing dispute regarding unpaid wages owed to De Jong from Barcelona would need to be settled before a move can be finalised, but Thomas Tuchel’s side are now in the driving seat to complete a deal for the Netherlands international.
Despite an insistence that the club did not want to sell De Jong, Barcelona have been attempting to offload the midfielder behind the scenes as the Catalans look to raise much-needed funds and register their five summer signings.
The sizeable fee and removal of De Jong’s wages would help the club abide by La Liga’s financial rules, which have so far prevented Barcelona from registering new arrivals including Robert Lewandowski and Raphinha.
Chelsea have already invested more than £160m on five new signings this summer and, in addition to De Jong, are set to return to Leicester with an improved offer for Wesley Fofana.